Yesterday, the drone delivery heroes Zipline started delivering COVID-19 vaccines to selected health facilities in their coverage area in Ghana. “This makes Ghana the first country in the world to use drones at a national level to deliver COVID-19 vaccines,” the press release said.
It’s a first on several fronts. “On February 23, the COVAX facility shipped 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) of Pune, India to Accra, Ghana,” the press release said. “The arrival in Accra is the first batch delivered from the COVAX facility worldwide to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to low and middle income countries by the end of 2021. ”
The drone dispensing of COVID vaccines will help ensure quick and equitable access of the vaccine across Ghana, including in remote areas. “Almost half of Ghana’s population lives outside the cities, and those 12 million people are difficult to reach with temporary, cold chain-dependent vaccines. Zipline’s network offers Ghana a resilient, efficient and fair sales strategy. “
“We are proud to be part of this significant milestone in Ghana, where our drone logistics network is able to deliver COVID-19 vaccines on-demand at large scale all over the mile in the last country,” said Keller, co-founder and co-founder from Zipline Rinaudo. “Not only does this make Ghana the first country in the world to use drones nationally to deliver COVID-19 vaccines, but it is also a major effort to ensure equitable access and empower Ghana to improve its health infrastructure for the delivery of vaccines. ”
The Snr. Daniel Marfo, Vice President of Zipline Africa said: “This is undoubtedly an exciting time for Africa. We are leading the way in using revolutionary drone technology to provide on-demand medical care and vaccines for our employees who need them most. For many countries, a nationwide, fair distribution – especially to remote and hard-to-reach regions – is a huge challenge. In Ghana, the established health infrastructure and the existing Zipline network enable fast and safe supply to these regions. “
“We are honored to do this with our key partners, the Ministry of Health, the Ghanaian Civil Aviation Authority, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the UPS Foundation. We believe that with this intervention, Ghana will be able to distribute the vaccine as quickly and fairly as possible, ”said Naa Adorkor Yawson, General Manager of Zipline Ghana.
The vaccines will be delivered to the Zipline distribution center by UPS, which also assists the regional government cold stores with ground delivery in the country. Once the vaccines arrive at the Zipline distribution center in Mpanya, Ashanti area, they will be flown to health facilities in the area if needed. Asuofua Health Center was the first to receive COVID-19 vaccines via drone delivery from Zipline. More health facilities and dosing centers will be added over the next few days as directed by the Ghanaian Health Service.
Miriam McNabb is editor-in-chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Author of over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space, Miriam is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high-tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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