Zipline, Kaduna govt. begin drone deliveries to health facilities

Zipline, Kaduna govt. begin drone deliveries to health facilities

By Yunus Yusuf, Lagos.

 

Zipline, an instant logistic company, on Friday completed its first medical drone deliveries to health facilities in Kaduna State.

 

Mr Daniel Marfo, Senior Vice-President (Africa) of Zipline, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos.

 

Marfo said that the initial flights mark the final stage of integration with the local health systems and validation with the regulatory authorities.

 

He said that Zipline and the Kaduna State Government expected to deliver medical supplies to hundreds of health facilities to help create a more agile, responsive and accessible health system, subject to final regulatory approval.

 

Marfo also said that the company would operate three distribution centres across the state.

 

He said that would cover an area of 46,000 square kilometres, delivering to approximately 500 health facilities serving millions of people.

 

He said that the company would begin by delivering more than 200 different medical products, including medicines and routine vaccines, with plans to expand to more products soon.

The vice-president said that Zipline would bring its proven COVID-19 vaccine distribution model to Nigeria.

 

“The company and its partners pioneered this model with the government of Ghana; to date, they have successfully delivered more than 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccines across the country.

 

“Today marks Zipline’s first deliveries in Nigeria, home to both the largest economy and population on the continent.

 

“Its operation will begin with test flights delivering medical supplies to health facilities, as part of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s final approval process.

 

“Regular commercial operations in Kaduna State are expected to begin later this month, and the company has also signed agreements with a number of other states that it plans to launch later this year.

 

“Instant logistics enables governments and health systems to optimize their supply chains and reimagine how care is delivered,” he said.

 

Marfo said that Zipline had a demonstrated track record of working with governments and health systems to transform health supply chains to be more efficient, accessible and sustainable.

 

“A recent independent study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, showed Zipline’s instant logistics system has significantly increased the availability, reliability and range of inventory at health facilities in Ghana by addressing supply chain challenges.”

 

Marfo quoted Gov. Nasir El-Rufai as saying, during the inauguration, that: “Today, we’re making our first flights to pave the way toward bringing this proven service to Kaduna State.

 

“We are proud to be the very first state in Nigeria to adopt this innovative supply chain to support our efforts in healthcare delivery.

 

“Zipline’s system is a powerful next step in Kaduna State’s ongoing efforts to create a smarter, stronger health system that better serves everyone in our state.”

 

Also speaking, Mrs Amina Mohammed-Baloni, Kaduna State Commissioner for Health, said: “Investment in the supply chain makes health systems more efficient, effective and equitable.

 

“Today’s flights are an important step toward ensuring people across Kaduna State have access to the healthcare they need, precisely when and where they need it, to drive better health outcomes and foster healthier communities.”

 

Dr Olumuyiwa Aliu, Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and former President of ICAO Council said: “With more than 315,000 commercial deliveries worldwide, Zipline has built an impressive record of safe, reliable, impactful service.

 

“Soon, the company is expected to bring this game-changing service to millions more people, and bring us one step closer to a world where anyone can get whatever they need, whenever and wherever they need it.

 

“Today’s flights were made possible through Zipline and Kaduna State’s collaboration with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency and the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

 

“Nigeria marks Zipline’s third country of operation in Africa, following national-scale operations in Ghana and Rwanda, and its fifth globally,” he added.

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