Ghana launches first medical drone service

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Ghana has launched its first drone service, which the West African country is seeking to use to improve healthcare delivery.

Typically, access to vital health products in Ghana is hampered by the difficulty of supplying medicines from the central medical stores to remotely located patients; however, with the advent of drone technology that challenge will be a thing of the past, Vice-President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia said at the launch.

“As a government, we cannot stand aside and watch our people die because they lack timely access to medical products,” Dr. Bawumia said of the initiative dubbed, ‘Fly-to-Save-a-life’.

He added, “It will save the lives of people who may otherwise have lost them through childbirth, snake bites, accidents and other life-threatening emergencies.”

The Minister for Health, Kweku Agyemang Manu, indicated that the entire project represents a game-changer in the country’s quest to deliver timely medical services.

The Ministry of Health has selected 148 lifesaving medical products to be stocked at Zipline’s four distribution centres nationwide.

Zipline, the company that operates the drone service, guarantee delivery of those products upon request to at least 1,500 health facilities served.

The deliveries of about 150 medical supplies, which include blood, blood products, and vaccines among others, will serve nearly 2000 health facilities across the country at full capacity.

Rigorous Testing of Flight Software and Aircraft Hardware

The company says it is committed to improving the quality of its code and service every day to make sure it is operating the safest and most effective drone delivery operation in the world.

All software updates are first put through automated software and hardware in the loop testing, allowing advanced algorithms to assess how the new code and aircraft would perform in the real world.

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