The Senior Vice President, Zipline Africa, Daniel Marfo, has lauded the efforts of the government of Ghana for the bold decision of opting to use drone technology to improve healthcare delivery in the country.
Mr Marfo was speaking in Calabar, Nigeria during the signing of an MoU with the Cross River State for the use of Zipline’s drone technology to deliver essential medical commodities within the state.
“The government of Ghana needs to be commended for the rather bold decision of adopting the Zipline technology at a time when many thought it was not possible to use drones to deliver medical commodities “, Mr Marfo said. “The government stands vindicated as the technology has been of an immense help in the total health system in Ghana, particularly in the delivery of medicines and blood components to hard-to-reach areas of Ghana”.
Status of operations in Ghana
Zipline currently operates from four distribution centers in Ghana; Omenako, Mpanya, Vobsi and Sefwi Wiawso. The company makes an average daily delivery of 100 medical commodities from each of the distribution centers. “Our services have been well received across the country and it seems to me that only those in the city centers, where we do not serve, still doubt the significant work we are doing in Ghana,” Said the Country Manager of Zipline Ghana, Mrs Yawson Naa Adorkor.
To date, ZIPLINE has delivered over 650,000 medical commodities across all the four distribution centers. Of this number, more than 42,000 were medical products while the remaining comprises blood products, vaccines and Covid-19 samples.
Expansion to Nigeria
The signing in Cross River state brings to two states in Nigeria that have signed onto the Zipline technology. Construction is already underway in Kaduna state, after a successful signing earlier this year.
Commenting on the partnership with Zipline, the Governor of Cross River State, H.E. Ben Ayade, said “Healthcare is one of our top priorities, and we are committed to creating a system in which no one is left behind. Zipline is a key, innovative part of our investment in our health systems. Their delivery service will help us to remove access barriers to health care and help create a more equitable and efficient system across the state.”
“The focus of this partnership is to ensure that all barriers hindering the successful delivery of medical commodities to our people is removed. This is one of the many forward-thinking interventions we are implementing to consolidate the gains we have made within the health care system”, he said.
Ghana setting the pace
Mr Marfo said the positive stories from Ghana has made many more countries in Africa reaching out to know how the technology could be of support to them. “We are in talks with a number of countries in Africa, who have all expressed their readiness to go the way of Ghana in using our technology; and while we expand to Africa, we definitely need to come back to say thank you to the government and people of Ghana for setting the pace. We remain committed to ensuring that we bring value to what we do”.