Zipline, the world's first national-scale drone delivery service, will begin the initial testing and diagnostic flights from its distribution centre in Omenako in the Eastern Region In the first week of March.

The test, which will be in two states, will start with a technical test and at this stage, no delivery of medical supplies will be made to any hospital.

The second stage will involve flying of water packages to health facilities to test landing sites.

A statement issued by Zipline said after successful tests, the revolutionary new service will be launched to begin full operations using drones to make on-demand emergency deliveries of life-saving medications to over 2, 000 health facilities across the country.

148 life-saving medical supplies

The service will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ghana Health Service (GHS) has selected 148 life-saving medical products to be stocked at Zipline's four distribution centres nationwide.

Zipline will guarantee the delivery of these products upon request to any of the thousands of health facilities served.

Each of the four distribution centres will be staffed by a team of Ghanaian engineers and logistics personnel equipped with at least 20 drones.

Parliament by a majority decision approved an agreement on Tuesday amidst fierce opposition by the Minority Legislators.

The system can also be employed to deliver other items such as urgent letters, examination papers and election materials, according to government communication on the deal.

This makes Ghana the only country in the West African sub-region currently using the technology to improve health service delivery.

Full document: MoH, Zipline medical drone agreement

Read the full story about the test flights in Friday, March 1’s edition of The Finder newspaper.