Zipline Technology has started delivering medical supplies via drones to the Afram Plains in the Eastern Region.
There were wild jubilations from indigenes, including chiefs and health workers, as the drone flew over the Volta Lake and mountainous terrain to make its first delivery at Ekye, a community within the Kwahu Afram Plains South District.
Health workers, police officers, residents and local authorities converged at the field of the Ekye Health Centre to witness the delivery of the medical supply. The eagerness to see the drone for the first time was clearly visible in their faces.
Emergency cases in the area are usually referred to the Donkorkrom Presbyterian Hospital, which is about two hours away. With the drone service now extended to the area, there are high hopes that referrals to bigger health facilities due to unavailability of essential medicines would be significantly reduced.
This is the first time a medical drone has delivered drugs across a water body. The order was placed around 13:05 hours by some nurses of the Ghana Health Service, who underwent training on placing orders for medications to Zipline.
Madam Joana Amankwah, the Kwahu Afram Plains South District Director of Health for the Ghana Health Service, was highly elated when speaking to journalists about the speed at which the drone delivered the medicine.
She described the inclusion of Ekye into the operations of Zipline Medical Drone service as a great relief, saying; “we are very much excited.” She also other that explained that the inclusion of Ekye in the service was a game-changer as far as responding to emergency cases was concerned.
Naa Adorkor Yawson, the Systems Integration Lead at Zipline Ghana, told the media that Zipline was committed to serving all communities in the area.
“We are hoping that daily we will get a lot of flights coming here because it is one of the hard-to-reach areas,” she said.
Already, the drones have been delivering medications and blood to quite a number of communities including Asamankese, Suhum, Awenare and Mangoase.
Madam Yawson noted that Zipline was working tirelessly to plot more flight routes as part of its commitment to deliver drugs to hard-to-reach areas.
It is expected to deliver 148 different essential medical supplies to 2,000 health facilities across the country and serve about 12 million people.