The Minister for Health, Hon Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has said that the Fly-To-Save-A-Life (Zipline) Medical Drone Project, is primarily for emergency services, adding that the project is expected to be supplementary to the already existing and functional health systems of supply.
He explained that the project is not in any way expected to replace the existing regular supply chain system for the delivery of blood and medical products to the numerous health facilities across the nation.
Hon. Agyeman-Manu was addressing the gathering that witnessed the launch of the world’s largest medical drone delivery system by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at Omenako in the Eastern Region.
The project, which will use unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to distribute blood and essential medical supplies to hospitals and other healthcare facilities made on demand by health facilities, is the largest of its kind in the world.
“While we seek to promote the use of innovations in the health sector, we are equally committed to improving the traditional supply chain system, to make it fully responsive to the needs of our people”, he explained.
He said that the launch of the project marks a major milestone in the process of implementing the government’s commitments to ensuring that all Ghanaians, irrespective of where they live in Ghana, have access to good quality emergency products, on time to save precious lives.
The utilization of technology in the provision of quality healthcare for citizens, he said, was commendable, and this innovative 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.
Hon. Agyeman-Manu said one of the key responsibilities of his Ministry is to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country by developing the health industry, through the promotion of healthy lifestyle, vitality and well-being, which is in accord with the relevant global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that could be attained through the utilization of technology to improve access to good quality health products for people living in Ghana within the shortest possible time.