The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has described the government’s intention to deploy the use of drones for medical deliveries as extremely useful and has called on all Ghanaians to support the idea
He was emphatic that this drone delivery service will come at Zero cost to the government of Ghana budget, stressing that as per the current arrangements the cost will be borne by the corporate sector through their corporate social responsibility obligations.
As is done in Rwanda, Ghana, through parliamentary approval is seeking to use a drone delivery network, which will be run by the Ghana Health Services and the Ministry of Health, to give Ghana the most advanced health care supply chain in the subregion.
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The drones will operate 24 hrs a day from 4 distribution centres across the country. The distribution centres will stock 184 lifesaving and essential medical supplies including :
Emergency blood and oxytocin to save women's lives in childbirth. Postpartum haemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal death.
Emergency medicines for surgeries, severe infections, antivenins and anti-rabies, diabetic emergencies, extremely high blood pressure emergencies.
When one of the of the 2,500 health facilities covered by the new service stocks out of a product, it will order an emergency delivery by
In outlining the benefits of the system
“This revolutionary healthcare service will help save lives, decrease waste in the system and increase healthcare access for more than 14 million people nationwide," he indicated.
The drones and delivery service will be built and operated by Zipline, a California-based automated logistics company, which helped launch the world’s first national drone delivery service in Rwanda in October of 2016. The medical drone delivery service has been so successful at decreasing waste, increasing access and saving lives that the government of Rwanda recently asked Zipline to quadruple the size of its operation there.
Zipline will employ 200+ Ghanaians, including pharmacists, engineers, flight operations, and
Zipline’s operation in Rwanda is already 100% run by Rwandans. Zipline has committed to 100% local employment in Ghana as well.
Zipline will build a training centre in Ghana to support all of Zipline’s Anglophone West African operations.
When asked what the contract obligate Zipline to do,
Each distribution centre will include at least 20 drones, launch and recovery equipment, state-of-the-art medical refrigeration equipment, and computerized order management systems. Each will be staffed by up to 50 Ghanaian employees.
Zipline must operate drone flights from the distribution centres on a 24/7 basis to deliver medical products on request to health facilities within an 80 km service radius.
Zipline will guarantee a capacity of 150 flights per Delivery Cost (DC) day. This means that the 4 distribution centres will be able to make up to 600 emergency deliveries per day total (and the flights can usually carry more than 1 product).