The Ghana medical drone delivery service will be starting operations soon at Mampong in the Ashanti Region as a new distribution centre has just been completed.
The distribution centre will be delivering essential medicines using drone technology from the American company Fly Zipline. The new Mampong distribution centre is scheduled to commence its delivery operations by the end of October 2019.
This is going to make the current number of medical drone distribution centres in Ghana two. The first centre, which is operational, is sited at Omenako in the Eastern Region. It has been delivering medicine since April of this year.
The Ghana Health Service is running this drone delivery network to swiftly deliver medical supplies to health facilities. And this project will give Ghana one of the most advanced health care supply chains.
According to the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the new Mampong centre is currently being tested. He added that the new centre, as per its position in the country, will be providing emergency medical drone delivery services for hospitals in the middle belt of the country. This includes the Ashanti Region, Ahafo Region, Bono Region, and the Bono East Region. Parts of the Eastern Region and the Volta Region as well as will also be served by the new Mampong medical drone distribution centre.
This project by the Ghana Health Service will cover about 2,500 health centres in the country. When the supplies in these health centres get finished, they’ll order an emergency delivery by a drone, which will arrive in 30-40 minutes.
The company which is the backbone of the Ghana medical drone delivery service, Fly Zipline, is a California-based robotic logistics company. They built the drones and are going to operate the delivery service.
In 2016, Fly Zipline launched the world’s first nationwide delivery service in Rwanda. In Rwanda, it has been a success and the government has asked Zipline to multiply its operation there.
In Ghana, Fly Zipline is currently developing a dashboard that would allow key stakeholders and management teams to have access to real-time data on the status of the facilities and deliveries.
The medical drone delivery network will run throughout the whole day —24 hours per day — and throughout the whole week. The Ghana Health Service has listed 148 medical products that will be stocked at the distribution centres.
Each centre will have a minimum of 20 drones and 35 engineers and logistics personnel. The drones can carry 1.75 kilos of cargo. All the four distribution centres, when completed, will make at least 600 flights a day.