The Government of Ghana has announced plans to commence, in 2019, the distribution of blood products and other emergency medical supplies to deprived communities using drones.
According to Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, the move is part of the plans by government to deploy technology to save lives and improve the health conditions of the population.
The deal which is being struck between the government and the United States-based company, Zipline International Inc, is estimated to cost the country 12.5 million USD over a four-year period.
Known as the ‘Ghana Health Service – Fly Zipline Ghana drone health supplies delivery programme’, the drones will operate on 24 hour basis from four distribution centres across the country. Each centre will run about 20 drones and they will be expected to make emergency deliveries within 30 – 40 minutes, on demaon.
The opposition in parliament has, however, raised concerns about the cost of the project, arguing that it is too expensive and a misplaced priority for a country which faces several financial constraints.
Zipline has a similar contract with Rwanda (since 2016) essential medical supplies are delivered to rural parts of the country.