Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Saturday, September 12, commissioned Ghana’s third medical drone supply centre at Vobsi near Walewale in the North East Region.
The Vobsi facility would supply on demand, blood and other essential medical consumables to medical facilities in hard to reach areas.
Commissioning the facility, the Vice President said the impact of the Zipline service could not be over-emphasised as it had come to revolutionise health service delivery in the country.
“The decision of the government to adopt this revolutionary service of using drones to deliver on-demand, emergency medical commodities has not only made Ghana the host to the biggest medical drone delivery system on the continent, but has also significantly improved access to basic emergency medical commodities by health facilities. It is therefore most appropriate that we refer to it as ‘Fly-To-Save-A-Life Project’,” he said.
"I have been informed about the joy of one Dr Issabella Amese, the Medical Superintendent at the Baptist Medical Centre at Nalerigu, who urgently needed 4 units of "O" frozen fresh plasma (FFP) at 3:21am to save the life of a woman who was in a critical condition, and how Zipline intervened just in time. Indeed, we have a true and functioning 'Fly-To-Save-A-Life Project.’
“The hospital was in short supply of blood and the only hope for this woman to survive was Zipline. Thankfully, Zipline got the necessary clearance from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and immediately flew the much-needed blood product at that time from this very distribution center to the hospital. Today, the woman who was at the verge of death is alive and doing so well.
“Stories such as this motivate us to continue to provide leadership for our people and investment in their lives, so that we do not lose valuable lives as a result of non-availability of critical medical commodities. Indeed, every life matters,” Dr Bawumia disclosed.
According to the Vice President, the Zipline centres at Omenako in the Eastern region, Mpanya in the Ashanti region and Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North region have delivered over 120,000 medical products to several health facilities across the country.
Lauding the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, Zipline and other key stakeholders for the “great work done so far”, Dr Bawumia hinted that discussions had already began towards expanding the drone services to other deprived and hard-to-reach communities.
“In the light of the many success stories we are hearing from the beneficiary communities, and our obligation to ensure that national resources and critical services are fairly distributed to all people living in Ghana, we may soon consider the need to expand this service by Zipline to all parts of the country, particularly the hard-to-reach areas.
“My understanding is that at the full capacity of the 4 distribution centres, Zipline will be able to serve about 2,000 health facilities within their range. However, we know that there are many more health facilities in this country which also need to benefit from this amazing service.
“Currently, there are many health facilities in the Upper West, Volta, Oti, Savannah and Bono East Regions, and other deprived facilities along the coast which do not benefit from this life-saving service. It is our hope that soon we will be able to reach out to meet their medical emergencies.