Fly Zipline Ghana will on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 officially launch its drone delivery service in the country.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to launch the initiative at Zipline’s first distribution center at Omenako, a town in the Suhum municipality in the Eastern Region.
Prior to the official launch on Wednesday, Zipline on Tuesday, will officially fly its first drone to deliver vaccines to the New Tafo Hospital in the Eastern Region.
$12.5 million contract approved
Government in 2018 approved the operationalization of Zipline’s drone technology to deliver essential drugs and blood to rural areas in the country amidst protest from Members of Parliament on the Minority side.
The $12.5 million contract is to enable the government to fly blood and other health essentials to deprived areas.
When at full operations, Fly Zipline expects to be running over 150 flights per day from each of its four distribution centres nationwide.
Zipline – the world’s first national-scale drone delivery service, began its initial testing and diagnostic flights from its first distribution center at Omenako on March 1. 2019.
The revolutionary new service will use drones to make on-demand, emergency deliveries of life-saving medications to over 2,000 health facilities across the country.
Fly Zipline launched a similar service in Rwanda in 2006 to improve public health delivery in that country.
Vice President’s take on medical drones
Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia had earlier said the drone delivery service is a cost-effective approach of providing quality health care.
“We are taking a lead from Rwanda who pioneered this in Africa. Once we start our drone delivery service will be the largest in Africa. We are also innovating means of healthcare delivery to reduce cost and be as efficient as possible. We are trying to rely on technology to help us be more efficient and also be cost-effective,” he added.