Bawumia Inspects 3rd Medical Drone Delivery Centre
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has inspected ongoing works at the site for the third medical drone delivery service at Kukua near Walewale in the North East Region.
The centre when completed in January 2020, will host the largest warehouse under the drone programme and immediately serve 60 health facilities.
It is also expected to scale up to 500 health facilities within a 100km radius in the five northern regions by the end of 2020.
The Vice President expressed satisfaction at the pace of work, noting that it was another component of the overall effort by Government to make healthcare more accessible to Ghanaians.
“This is part of many innovations adopted by Government to improve access to health care to deprived and hard-to-reach communities and strategy to eradicate hardships in health delivery, ” he said during the opening of the first drone centre.
According to him, “not a single Ghanaian, irrespective of his or her remoteness, deserves to die due to inaccessibility to emergency health care.”
The Zipline Medical Drone Centre which is 100 percent operated by Ghanaians, would provide a response to medical emergencies, especially in hard to reach areas, through the flying of unmanned drones to supply 12 routine and emergency medicines as well as 148 lifesaving medical products.
It will also operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week from four distribution centres – each equipped with 30 drones and deliver to 2,000 health facilities serving 12 million people across the country.
Altogether, the four distribution centres, when operational, are each expected to make up to 500 on-demand flights a day.
Health workers place orders by texting messages and receiving deliveries in 30 minutes on average. Zipline’s drones take off and land from Zipline’s distribution centres, requiring no additional infrastructure at the clinics they serve.
The drones fly autonomously and can carry 1.8 kilos of cargo, cruising at 110 kilometres an hour, and have an all-weather round trip range of 160 kilometres.
Each Zipline distribution centre can deliver to an area of 20,000 kilometre squares.
In Ghana, this means that each distribution centre will serve 2-5 million people.
Deliveries are made from the sky, with the drone descending to a safe height above the ground and releasing a box of medicine by parachute to a designated spot at the health centre it’s supposed to serve.