Bawumia launches Ghana’s First Medical Drone delivery Service
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Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday launched Ghana’s largest medical drone delivery service at Omenako, Eastern Region, to improve medical delivery service in the country.


The new service, which is a collaboration between Ghana's Ministry of Health and Zipline Technologies, will use drones to make national-scale, on-demand emergency deliveries of 148 different vaccines, blood products, and life-saving medications.


The service will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from 4 distribution centers—each equipped with 30 drones - and deliver to 2,000 health facilities serving 12 million people across the country.


All four distribution centers will make up to 600 on-demand delivery flights a day.  Each distribution center will have the capacity to make up to 500 flights per day. Vice President Bawumia said the successful launch of the service is yet another example of the triumph of innovation.


He was delighted that the innovation would be used to improve access to health care to deprived and hard-to-reach communities, as it forms part of the government’s strategy to reduce inequality and hardships by ensuring the inclusion of every Ghanaian irrespective of status in national development.


“One of the biggest pillars of this government has been how to grow this country without leaving anyone behind; inclusiveness. And one of the ways we are working on is how to use technology to advance our development, improve the ways we do things in our offices, and how to improve citizens’ access to and delivery of the public services they need no matter where they live in this country. 


“President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is determined to reduce inequality and hardships for every Ghanaian, especially the disadvantaged. That is why we are implementing Free SHS. This determination informed the government’s decision to increase the portion of the District Assemblies Common allocated to Persons Living with Disability by 50%.


That is why we restored the Nursing and Teacher Training Allowances canceled by the previous government, set up the Zongo Development Fund, and are constructing dams in northern Ghana through the One Village One Dam to ensure all year round farming."


“As you are aware, we have abolished fees for postgraduate medical training in Ghana, we have set up the three Development Authorities - Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern — and you can now renew your National Health Insurance through your phone. Soon, in collaboration with the National Identification Authority, Ghanaians would be able to register, renew and access health care services using the Ghana Card,” said Vice President Bawumia.


Zeroing in on health care, Vice President Bawumia deplored the avoidable deaths arising from a lack, or timely availability of, different vaccines, blood products, and life-saving medications, and commended the Ministry of Health and their partners for the successful launch of the Fly-To-Save-A-Life Project for working to save Ghanaian lives.


“It is also important to note, however, that this is not a replacement for the already existing programmes, but a compliment. By July this year, the government will receive the 275 ambulances already purchased, to strengthen the health delivery system and make treatment of emergency cases more effective,” he disclosed.


The Zipline project has already attracted international attention and major players like Pfizer, NOVARTIS, GAVI, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and UPS have already engaged Zipline to deliver medicines and other supplies in Ghana on their behalf using drones.


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)