Zipline expand operations to more hard-to-reach areas to improve access to medical supplies
Zipline, a company that supplies medical products and delivers goods, as part of its vision to cover more grounds in the Volta and Oti regions of Ghana, has expanded its operations to Anum and Kete-Krachi.
A ceremony for the expansion was held at Nyagbo Sroe, a suburb of the Afadjato South District of the Volta Region. The event was championed by the Vice President of Ghana, H. E. Dr. Bawumia.
The country manager, Naa Adorkor Yawson, in her welcome address said the two new distribution centers are in line with the government’s health industrialization to be able to see more health outposts benefitting.
Naa Adorkor further said since the inception of Zipline in Ghana, it has always chased after health facilities, especially those in hard-to-reach areas, and enrolled them on its drone supply chain system. Commenting on their success, she was proud to say, communities who have initial challenges of accessing medical supplies hence leading to frequent out-of-stock supplies, have witnessed firsthand the technological innovation of biplane and how it has helped save countless lives.
“Three years ago, what began as a small initiative in the little town of Omenako to bring relief to the communities within that enclave, turned out to be a futuristic, Science-tech driven partnership, refined with solutions to addressing our major health concerns. For the first time, communities marginalized by geographical and infrastructure challenges have experienced first-hand instant access to medicines, stronger emergency and disaster response, reduction in referral rates and improved healthcare through this beautiful technology” – Naa Adorkor Yawson.
She also said the ongoing expansions, which are ‘comprehensive and rapid development in the health sector are being supported by the government of Ghana, Ministry of Health, and other allied partners. In her assessment, the company had made high strides in reducing infant mortality through their vaccine distribution program and swift response to emergencies in remote areas. Zipline has also received international recognition for the work they do in the African sub-region.
Naa Adorkor Yawson also commended the Vice President, the Health Ministry, the Ghana Health Service, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, and other partnering agencies for all putting their best on. She indicated that with the newly opened centers, they expect to cover about 70% of the Volta region and 90% of the Oti region.
The Vice President addressed the chiefs and people of Nyagbo Sroe saying the event is a part of the government’s plan to expand drone services to ensure that no one is left behind in accessing emergency medicine and other healthcare products.
“When the world was hit by the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic and all countries were challenged by the difficulties of even distribution of vaccines, the Zipline drones came in handy. I understand close to one-million COVID-19 vaccines have so far been delivered by Zipline to many health facilities across the country. This, no doubt is one of the contributing factors for which reason we have not experienced massive expiries of the vaccines as happened in many other countries. By this also, Ghana through the operation of Zipline, has become the only country in the entire world to use drones to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to dosing centers”, the Vice President said.
According to the Vice President, the testimonies of patients and health practitioners of various health facilities about the impact of drone delivery goes beyond political cynicism. He encouraged Zipline to stay focused on their mandate and ensure that they carry their duties with heart and mind so that many more health facilities will benefit from the service.