17
Wed, Jul
4 New Articles

BILL GATES PRAISES GHANA’S MEDICAL DRONE INITIATIVE

Health & Lifestyle

The renowned American business magnate William Henry Gates has hailed Ghana’s decision to adopt drone technology to provide medical supplies to health facilities, especially in remote areas of the country.

The renowned American business magnate William Henry Gates has hailed Ghana’s decision to adopt drone technology to provide medical supplies to health facilities, especially in remote areas of the country.

Bill Gates, as he is commonly known, expressed excitement about the health initiative by the NPP government, tweeting:

“It’s amazing to think about the creative ways we’ve delivered vaccines over the years (even by dog sled, when necessary). Today, a start-up called Zipline is even using delivery drones to reach the most remote parts of the world.”

He commended Zipline, the company responsible for the installation, operation and maintenance of the drones, and Ghana for implementing the innovative idea.

“Zipline, which is already delivering medicine in Rwanda, is about to take on even bigger project: as many as 600 flights a day, serving 12 million people,” he wrote.

Delivery project

Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia last month launched Ghana’s first drone delivery centre at Omenako, a village near Suhum in the Eastern Region.

The event, which paved the way for the construction of the remaining three out of four facilities scheduled by the end of this year, was graced by the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, and a host of other dignitaries.

The Okyenhene urged saboteurs of government policies to have a change of mind and support policies that will have a positive impact on society. He pledged his support and commitment to the initiative, and at the same time asked health workers and other stakeholders to work tirelessly to help manage, maintain and sustain the medical drone delivery system to save more lives in the country.

People power

“Countries who have made impressive strides in their socio-economic development have done so not because of what the country had but because of what the country knows.

“Zipline came as a result of someone’s thinking. It came as a result of our President and Vice-President saying we need change,” he said.

“The technology cannot do the work on its own. We need people who are going to be committed. Genuine and sincere people who will work to make this thing work.”

Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the director general of the Ghana Health Service, also said the project will enable Ghana to achieve a universal health care delivery system.

The US$12.5 million drone delivery contract will enable the Ghana Health Service to fly blood and other essential medical supplies to deprived and hard-to-reach areas.

Operations

The centre at Omenako will use drones to make on-demand emergency deliveries of 148 different vaccines, blood products and life-saving medications.

It will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from four distribution centres and deliver supplies to 2,000 health facilities, serving 12 million people across the country.

Built and operated by the San Francisco-based drones manufacturer and logistics services provider Zipline, the new service will make on-demand emergency deliveries of 150 different vaccines, blood products and life-saving medications.