11:37, 17.Aug 2018
The Public Relations Officer of Fly Zipline, operators of the medical drone delivery service in Ghana, Mr Daniel Marfo, has revealed that 70 per cent of Community-based Health Planning and Service (CHPS) compounds in rural areas will benefit from the programme.
Speaking to Kwabena Prah Junior (The Don) on Thursday, 25 April 2019 on Accra 100.5FM following the official launch of the first distribution centre at Omenako in the Eastern Region, Mr Marfo indicated that CHPS compounds are the main target for the delivery of essential emergency medicinal products.
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia noted that not a single Ghanaian, irrespective of his or her remoteness, deserves to die due to lack of medical care.
“No Ghanaian deserves to die because by no choice of his or hers they are in hard-to-reach areas in this country.
“I am reliably informed of the huge impact the drone technology has made in the healthcare delivery systems in other countries such as Rwanda and I have no doubt that the success will be replicated in Ghana when we start using the technology to deliver critical medical products”, Dr Bawumia said.
“It is, therefore, clear that we cannot reduce this service to the usual politicking because anybody who is dying will not be asked to show their party card before care is extended to them”, he added during a speech at the launch.
The drone service will help hospitals receive medical packages between 15 to 17 minutes after making requests via WhatsApp or SMS.
After a request is made, the Zipline centre sends a message to the hospital staff to confirm the order. Another message is sent to the hospital as soon as the drone is launched and then the hospital is prompted again five minutes to delivery. The package is released from beneath the drone to a programmed drop zone at the hospital premises and health officials can pick the requested order to be administered to patients immediately and the aircraft continues its flight back to base.
Zipline’s primary base is the Omenako Centre which will serve the Eastern, Volta and parts of the Ashanti regions. After the official launch of the project, three other distribution centres will be completed within the year and equipped with 120 aircraft collectively to serve areas within a radius of 80km across the country to provide about 150 medical products to 2000 health facilities.
Zipline has been contracted to make 150 deliveries from each of the four bases daily but scalable to 500 deliveries from each base on a daily basis.
The cost of the project is estimated at $12 million for the technology and $17 per delivery.