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General News of Thursday, 4 February 2021

Source: Tarlue Melvin, Contributor

Zipline delivers over 1 million vaccine doses to hard-to-reach areas of Ghana

The world’s first and only national scale drone delivery service, Zipline has announced the delivery of over 1 million program vaccine doses to rural and hard-to-reach areas of Ghana.

The vaccines were delivered within Zipline’s catchment areas at Omenako, Mpanya, Vobsi, and Sefwi Wiaso.

According to the company, in addition to their original mandate of delivering emergency medical components, they have partnered with the Expanded Program on Immunization to be the sole distributor of vaccines to a number of facilities within their operational areas that have challenges with cold storage and/or are hard-to-reach.

So far, a total of 1,174,227 vaccine doses have been delivered.

The company reports that vaccine orders increased by 32% from March 2020 to April 2020 as Coronavirus restricted movement came into effect.

It said vaccine orders continued to rise steadily from April 2020 and that by December 2020, monthly vaccine deliveries were four times higher than they had been at the start of the year.

The company explained that during this support period, vaccine deliveries could easily be scheduled for health facilities for specific dates and times. The General Manager of Zipline Ghana, Mrs Naa Yawson said, “we have positioned our services at the pleasure of our partner health facilities such that at any time there were shortages of any of the program vaccines, we are available to supply the needed quantities in record time. This is one of the ways we support in ensuring that as many children as possible are immunized in Ghana.”

In 2021, Zipline Ghana is expecting an increase in the delivery of vaccines, emergency medical components and blood products as they are currently doing an average of 100 deliveries per distribution centre each day.

It will also be recalled that Zipline, last year, announced the start of delivery of COVID-19 samples to test centres in Noguchi, Accra and KCCR, Kumasi. This, the company said, is still ongoing with about 3,575 deliveries as at December 2020.

Mrs. Yawson says her outfit remained committed to ensuring the timely delivery of medical services to Ghanaians, especially the hard-to-reach areas.

She observed that Zipline’s partnerships with the various health facilities, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Expanded Program on Immunization have been impressive and that the company hopes to build on its good relationship with its key stakeholders in the coming years.

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