The Vice President has urged the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Ghana Gas, Aker Energy, Newmont Ghana and other corporate bodies to support the medical drone.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia was speaking during the commissioning of the third Zipline medical drone delivery site located at Vobsi in the West Mamprusi Municipality of the North East Region.

The cost of delivering medical products to the various health facilities is paid by corporate entities in and outside of Ghana while Zipline and its partners also pay for the infrastructural set-up, the drones and all its software. 

The Vice President said, “the cost of this life-saving intervention is not directly on the shoulders of government. A number of organisations have already donated money to the fund dedicated to paying the delivery cost of Zipline.

“I want to use this opportunity to extend my heartfelt appreciation to these corporate entities who are bearing the cost of this important innovation through their corporate social responsibility obligations.

“I encourage other companies like the Ghana Gas, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and others who have pledged their support to kindly redeem these pledges immediately”. 

The General Manager of Zipline Ghana, Daniel Marfo, announced that the company has completed the construction of all four distribution sites within a record 12 months after the launch of the first site in April 2019.

At full capacity, all four distribution centers will serve about two-thousand health facilities.

Dr Bawumia, however, directed the Ministry of Health to quickly ensure that, for the purposes of inclusiveness, the mandate of Zipline is extended to build four additional sites which are required before all parts of the country could be adequately covered.

“There are a number of health facilities in Upper West, Volta, Oti, Bono East and some other places along the coasts that this service must urgently reach”, he said.

Currently, the services of Zipline is in high demand especially in the five regions of the north that have been affected by the recent flooding.

The daily emergency medical deliveries from the Vobsi distribution site has shot up from an average of 50 to 90.

This, the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Okoe Boye, explained is the importance of the service to the areas that are cut off as a result of the flood.

“This, though just numbers, are actually real lives that are being saved on a daily basis.

“All of us, in government and out of government, therefore, need to give our full support to this project as it is solving one of the critical needs in health delivery; promptness in accessing critical medical commodities”, he said.