Zipline and KNUST celebrate research innovation in health logistics

Zipline and KNUST celebrate research innovation in health logistics

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in collaboration with Zipline, the leading autonomous drone delivery service, hosted an award ceremony to honour outstanding research projects that aim to improve healthcare delivery through aerial logistics. 

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The event at the Amonoo-Neizer Conference Hall showcased innovative research and reinforced the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in enhancing public health.

In 2019, the Government of Ghana partnered with Zipline to deploy unmanned drones for the delivery of essential medical commodities aimed at enhancing the equitable distribution of health commodities. Today, Zipline operates six distribution centers across the country, serving over 2700 health facilities and approximately 17 million Ghanaians.

To further the evidence base on aerial logistics' efficacy, Zipline and KNUST established the Zipline/KNUST Research Grant Award. This initiative encourages and funds research projects led by interdisciplinary teams at KNUST. From a pool of 51 student researchers, 12 proposals were graded by independent reviewers, with two projects selected for funding. These projects focus on the impact of aerial logistics in improving sexual and reproductive health in the Western North and Ashanti regions, and on reducing healthcare disparities in the Kwabre East District of the Ashanti region. Each winning team received mentorship, funding of approximately USD 7000, and support to draft and submit their findings to peer-reviewed journals.

"Today, we celebrate not just the brilliance of our students but the transformative power of research," said Prof. Peter Agyei-Baffour, Head of Department of Health Policy Management and Economics of KNUST. "These projects highlight how interdisciplinary collaboration can address critical health challenges, ensuring equitable access to medical supplies across Ghana."

Mrs. Yvonne Aglah, Zipline's Ghana Operations Lead, emphasized Zipline's commitment to supporting innovative solutions: "Zipline is dedicated to leveraging technology to bridge healthcare gaps. These research initiatives underscore the impact of aerial logistics in enhancing healthcare delivery and reaching underserved communities. We are proud to support the next generation of innovators at KNUST."

Florence Haruna, of the research team at Zipline said, “the collaboration between Zipline and KNUST is a testament to what can be achieved when academia and industry unite. As we move forward, we aim to expand this partnership, fostering more research that can provide evidence-based solutions to global health supply chain challenges."

The partnership between Zipline and KNUST aims to continue fostering research that addresses healthcare disparities and improves supply chain logistics, ultimately enhancing population health

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