Deploying Drones for Medical Health Care: Gov’t defends decision

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Government has defended its decision to enter into a service agreement with a private company known as Fly Zipline Serves who are to deploy drones to deliver essential medical health care commodities and other medical supplies to health facilities in communities that have been cut off by bad nature of road network and other transportation obstacles.

The Service Agreement which seeks to employ the use of the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems was shot down in parliament on Monday by the Minority group who cited value for money considerations as one of the reasons for their opposition the deal and referred to the move as a misplaced priority for the health sector.

Due to the inability of the House to take a decision for the approval of the report of the Health Committee on the agreement, the Speaker had to suspend further deliberations on the agreement until a later time.

Briefing the Parliamentary Press Corps in Parliament on Tuesday, 4th 2018, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHH), Dr. Nsiah Asare, indicated that all the needed due diligence had been done on the company and the services to be provided and therefore there was cause for alarm.

He observed that the Remotely Piloted Aircrafts are not in the make of the ordinary drones that are common in ordinary usage in the country but a specially patented aircraft system made for the delivery of medical health services which have already be in use in Rwanda for the past two years.

The Director General intimated that the company in question, Fly Zipline, is currently the only company engaged in medical health drone delivery in the world.

According to him, the deployment of the drone services is part of the innovative measures being adopted by government to leverage on technology to serve the health needs of rural folks who may be cut off from essential medical supplies such as blood among others. While emphasizing that the project will be the largest medical health intervention in the world if implemented.

The press briefing which was facilitated by the Ministry of Information was to create awareness about the intentions of the deal and the benefits it portends for the society as well as solicit support for the initiative and its approval by parliament.

According to the agreement, Fly Zipline is to partner the Government of Ghana represented by the Ministry of Health, and leverage on the drone technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of supply chain of critical medical supplies, reduce waste and save lives and thus improve the outcomes of the health service delivery system.

The contract will run for four years from the start of service at first distribution center made of about 500 delivery points. The service fee is 88,000 Dollars per distribution center per month when fully deployed.

Source: Clement Akoloh||



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