Health Ministry cautions against misuse of medical drones
The Ministry of Health has cautioned against the misuse of medical drones in the country.
It reminded health facilities and their managers that drones were meant for only emergency cases.
The sector minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who was speaking at a three-day meeting of senior managers of the health ministry in Kumasi last Tuesday, said a recent visit to some health centres showed that the managers were making requests for items that were not meant for emergency medications.
“Some even request drugs such as antibiotics to be transported via drones,” he said.
Mr Agyeman-Manu, however, said considering the huge cost associated with flying medical supplies, it was not prudent to make such demands and, therefore, urged health directors to ensure their requests did not contravene requirements as contained in the usage of medical drones.
The meeting was on the theme: “Enhancing primary healthcare approaches towards achieving universal health coverage.”
It took stock of the Ghana Health Service(GHS) performance in 2022, and strategised on the way forward.
The event was attended by senior officers of the service drawn from the 16 regions, including some key partners and sponsors.
Also in attendance were the Otumfuo’s Mawerehene, Baafour Osei Hyeamann Brantuo VI, and the Council Chair of the GHS, Dr Sefa Sarpong Bediako.
In 2018, Parliament approved a plan to use medical drones to deliver blood, drugs, vaccines and other critical health supplies to remote areas in the country.
Since then, Zipline, a US-based company has been delivering life-saving medical supplies to needy communities.
The Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said there were improvements in some health indicators during the year under review.
For instance, he said institutional maternal mortality rate reduced significantly, in spite of some challenges.
Mr Aboagye also said the GHS exceeded its target in the percentage of women seeking maternal care, while half a million of the people were put on long-term family planning methods.
“There was also an improvement in children under five years receiving vitamin “A” and the number of babies benefiting from early breastfeeding initiation,” he added.