FLY Zipline Ghana Limited had delivered 79,800 medical products to 945 health facilities within its service range as of the end of June 2020.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, told Parliament that 47,100 of such deliveries were life-saving medical products; 31,400 were vaccines, while the remaining 1,264 were blood products.
“Mr Speaker, since May 2020, Zipline has delivered 2,573 COVID-19 samples to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR),” he said.
Peace of mind
Dr Okoe Boye said, “Health professionals in health facilities within the service range now have the peace of mind in the management of patients in the theatre and labour wards particularly and the hospital in general, with the availability of blood and emergency medicines within a few minutes of request.”
“Patients who otherwise would have been referred to other hospitals for dog and snake bites, blood transfusion and other life-threatening cases as a result of the non-availability of emergency medicines are now being treated within these hospitals without the need for referrals,” he stated in Parliament yesterday.
The deputy minister made the revelation when he answered a question asked on behalf of the MP for Binduri, Dr Robert Baba Kugnab-Lem, who wanted to know what impact the Zipline drone delivery service had had on healthcare delivery since it was launched almost a year ago.
The Ministry of Health and Fly Zipline Ghana Limited signed a service agreement for the emergency delivery of blood and health products to selected public health facilities, which was approved by Parliament on December 11, 2018.
Dr Okoe Boye said the company had so far completed and was operating from four distribution centres at Omenako in the Eastern Region, Mpanya in the Ashanti Region, Vobsi in the North East Region and Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region.
Dr Okoe Boye said the efficient delivery by the company had increased the confidence of the relevant communities in the services of the drone operator.
“Today, the health facilities in deprived and hard-to-reach communities such as Akuma and Ekye in the Afram Plains; Gbintiri and Sakogu in East Mamprusi; Amonie, Bonso and Adonikrom Aowin in Western North, and others now receive blood and emergency medicines, thereby preventing the death and needless suffering of the people.
“With Zipline, wastage and expiry from over-stock of blood and emergency medicines have reduced at health facilities within its service range,” Dr Okoe Boye added.
Responding to a question by the MP for Kumbungu, Mr Ras Mubarak, if there were plans to extend Zipline’s services nationwide, he said the whole country was covered with each of the four distribution centres that serviced various healthcare facilities.