Zipline Drone Centre commissioned at Mpanya
Stories from Sebastian R. Freiku
President Akufo-Addo, last Thursday, commissioned the latest Zipline drone centre at Mpanya in the Mampong Municipality of the Ashanti Region, with a call on political leaders not to play politics with matters of health.
The Mpanya Zipline Drone Centre is expected to serve 16 facilities, while more are added in the ensuing weeks.
The Mpanya Centre is the second after the Zipline Centre in Omenako near Suhum in the Eastern Region, following the official launch of Zipline in Ghana in April, 2019 to transport medical essentials to health facilities across the country.
The President said the “incessant politicisation of all issues does not augur well for Ghanaian politics,” adding that “health, like several other aspects of our national life, knows no party colours.”
Nana Akufo-Addo said he was impressed with the delivery of Zipline, and charged the company to make the remaining drone centres operational as soon as possible, so that many more health facilities can benefit from the drone service.
He explained that the government was neither buying the drones nor the associated infrastructure, but rather only paying for medical supplies delivered.
He said the government had invested heavily in the health delivery system of the country to make the facilities more responsive to the health needs of the people, and cited the procurement of ambulances as evidence of the huge investment by the government in the area of health. .
The General Manager of Zipline, Daniel Marfo, stated that more than 1,300 aerial deliveries of medical supplies had been done across the Eastern Region since the commissioning of the first Zipline Centre in Omenako, which is serving 52 health facilities.
He disclosed that Zipline would serve about 2,000 health facilities throughout the country by April 2020.
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, called for collaborative efforts between Zipline and the Service to ensure that polio vaccines reach remote localities in the ongoing polio vaccination.
He also hoped that referrals and the death toll due to lack of essential medical products would reduce drastically due to the impact of Zipline’s work.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Stephanie Sullivan, emphasised the role of the United States in making the drone service a reality, and reiterated the commitment of the US to partnering Ghana to ensure the health and wellbeing of her people.