The Vice-President, H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, today launched the world’s largest medical drone delivery network at Omenako in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
The project dubbed “Fly-To-Save-A-Life” is a 24-hour health delivery system, which would be operated by Zipline International from four distribution centres across the country, and would make on-demand delivery of medical supplies to an estimated 2,000 health facilities.
Addressing the gathering at the launch of the project, Dr. Bawumia said, one of the biggest pillars of the government is its decision to develop the country without leaving anyone behind. This, according to the Vice President, is demonstrated by its commitment to social intervention programmes that engenders social inclusion.
Dr. Bawumia said one of the ways the government is working to ensure inclusiveness is through the use of technology to advance national development, to improve ways things are done in offices, and to improve citizens access to public services they require no matter where they live.
He said Ghanaians are excited today because the government is now using technology to increase the access of Ghanaians to one of the basic public services that every citizen deserves, and the use of technology to solve a major problem in the country’s health delivery service to those in remote areas who cannot be reached easily by roads.
“If you have to get to the Dwarf Islands on the Afram Plain. Standing here today, and someone needs medicine on one of the Dwarf Island on the Afram Plains… just think of how long you will take to get that medicine to that person”, and added that Ghana can now prevent the death of mothers in labour who need blood, and can also deliver critical medicine to regional and district hospitals in the shortest possible time.
He expressed his personally excitement about the project, which has enabled the Ghana to join other countries using drone technology to deliver health care services, adding that the use of drones has presented a significant opportunity to the change in health delivery needs of people around the globe and it is making it easier to deliver essential health care products to hospitals and other health facilities across the country during emergencies.
This, he said, would help save the lives of people who may have otherwise lost their lives through childbirth, snake bites, accidents, and other life-threatening emergencies.
“In this 21st Century, no Ghanaian deserves to die for lack of blood; no Ghanaian deserves to die because the medicine needed is not readily available at the health facility he or she has been rushed to during emergency; no Ghanaian deserves to die because, by no choice of his or hers, they are in hard-to-reach areas in this country” he said.
The Minister for Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said the utilization of technology in the provision of quality healthcare for the people is highly commendable, and this revolutionary approach to healthcare delivery will not only lead to saving lives but would also promote efficiency and significant decrease in wastage in the supply chain system, while increasing access for over 15 million people across the country, particularly for the rural, deprived, remote and hard-to-reach areas and communities.
He announced that all health facilities in the country will soon go paperless, where patients referred from one hospital to another will not have to carry folders containing their medical records. The project of digitalization and networking of all health facilities across the nation, according to the Health Minister, has begun at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said the project will enable Ghana to achieve a Universal Health care delivery system. He said the centre will cover health facilities in the Eastern, Greater Accra, and parts of the Volta, Central and Ashanti Regions.