April 24th, Ghana’s first ever medical drone service took its first flight. This drone is unlike any other. As it holds the world record for the biggest drone in the world deployed for medical service.
The fleet of drones is deployed as ‘Fly-To-Save-A-Life Project,’ which is a partnership between the Ghana Ministry of Health and the Zipline Technologies. It is designed to rapidly roll out medical supplies during emergencies. Especially to areas hard to reach because of poor road access among other factors.
The project will be doing 12 routine drone deliveries of medical supplies and will be on standby for emergency services. They will be operating out of four centers, with just one (the Omenako Service Center) already up and running and the other three set to be completed by the end of 2019.
From the Omenako Service Center, the drones are expected to cover the entire of Eastern Ghana and parts of Ashanti, Volta, Central, and the Greater Accra region. The service will be operational 24/7 and the centers will be manned 100% by Ghanaian engineers, health care professionals, and logistics personnel.
The centers will be getting their revenues from payments from the private sector through their CSR obligations, and should not cost the Ghanaian taxpayer a dime. The Ghanaian Vice President Mamahudu Bawumia expressed his enthusiasm with the project saying:
“One f the biggest pillars of this government has been how to grow this country without leaving anyone behind; inclusiveness. And one of the ways we are working on is how to use technology to advance our development, improve the ways we do things in our offices, and how to improve citizen’s access to and delivery of the public services they need no matter where they live in this country.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is determined to reduce inequality and hardships for every Ghanaian, especially the disadvantaged. That is why we are implementing Free SHS…
As you are aware, we have abolished fees for postgraduate medical training in Ghana, we have set up the three Development Authorities – Coastal, Middle Belt, and Northern – and you can now renew your National Health Insurance through your phone.
Soon, in collaboration with the National Identification Authority, Ghanaians would be able to register, renew, and access health care services using the Ghana Card.”