His Royal Majesty, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has commended medical drone delivery service, Zipline for its innovation in addressing the perennial issue of wastage and expired drugs in the National Medical Stores.
The Asantehene revealed this when a 9-member delegation from Zipline Ghana led by Country Manager, Naa Yawson paid a courtesy call on him at his residence at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.
The visit was to officially introduce Zipline’s innovation to him and rally support on business expansion prospects, particularly the opening of new nests in Anum and Kete Krachie, a move that will see the service extended to various towns in the Afram Plains, Volta, Bono Savanna and Oti Regions.
Speaking at the event, the Country Community Lead of Zipline, Kusi Amoatin outlined Zipline’s commitment to providing life-saving interventions through the delivery of essential medical supplies to remote areas.
He revealed that, within 2 years of its operations in Ghana, the company has made over 3 million deliveries consisting of medical supplies, blood units, covid samples, vaccines and will soon unveil a program for home delivery of medical essentials.
He further stated that in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic when some vaccines were announced and received in Ghana, the Ministry of Health and its allied health institutions made Zipline, the special purpose vehicle for the transport of the vaccines to areas hard to reach by road.
This, he said, facilitated the expedited delivery of vaccines to several communities. He added that the impact of the service on health delivery has necessitated the opening of a new distribution centre in Anum and Kete Krachie, expected to serve towns and villages along the river basin.
The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II in his remarks congratulated the company for spearheading a great innovation that has seen incredible improvements in the delivery of medical products to the remotest of areas.
He noted that during the visit of the Minister of Health to his Palace, he was hinted of the expansion of the company to serve areas within the river basin of Oti, Volta and Savanna Regions.
He added that he was already impressed by the company’s effort to decentralize healthcare delivery by looking beyond the peri-urban cities to the rural communities and was happy to know their work has attracted praise.
“I am aware of your efforts in setting up your business to reach communities who have challenges accessing medical supplies. I am particularly happy about your distribution centre in Walewale, which is said to be serving our brothers and sisters within the Northern enclave. Certainly, this is an impact-driven venture and must be applauded,” he said.
“Gone are the days where people had to wait long hours for medications and other vital life-saving medication at the peril of their lives. Today your drone technology is not only saving lives but ensuring the issue of wastage and expiry of medications is addressed and medications are put to proper use. I have heard stories of how people’s lives have been saved through your fast-medical delivery system and I am happy to announce that I, together with my subjects, will support your expansion so that everyone will have equal access to critical life-saving medications, no matter your locations. When the Minister of Health, Hon. Agyemang Manu hinted to me about the impact of your work and your plans to open up to other regions, I have kept a keen interest in your work and I am happy to say, your impact has been profound”, the Asantehene added.
The Asantehene also expressed delight at the sight of many youthful faces managing the affairs of the company.
He charged the delegation to eschew complacency and work hard to etch the call for more youth representation at top managerial positions for the development of the country.
The General Manager of Zipline, Naa Yawson, on her part, thanked His Royal Majesty for the reception and goodwill extended to the company in the region.
She also extended an invitation to His Royal Majesty to visit the distribution centres to personally see the technology in action.
She added that the company will continue fronting community development activities in the region to equip the youth adding that as part of a partnership with the National Science and Maths Quiz, Zipline has launched a programme to train less endowed schools on drone technology to support the digitization and industrialization drive of the country. This, she said, will see more youth, especially women, develop competencies in drone technology.