Ghana’s Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on Sunday, 15 December 2019, inspected ongoing works at the site for the third medical drone delivery service at Kukua near Walewale in the North East Region.
When completed in January 2020, the facility will host the largest warehouse under the drone programme and immediately serve 60 health facilities, with an expected scale up to 500 health facilities within a 100-km radius in the five northern regions by the end of 2020.
Apart from the main operational facility which is 95% complete, work is also ongoing for the construction of a 22-bed housing project to house core staff nearby and ensure operational efficiency.
Like the two other facilities at Omenako near Suhum in the Eastern Region and Mampong in the Ashanti Region, the Kukua facility will be run by an all-Ghanaian crew of engineers, healthcare professionals and logistics personnel, and paid for by the private sector through their corporate social responsibility obligations with no cost to government.
The support staff are recruited locally.
Work is also ongoing at the fourth distribution centre at Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region; it is expected to be operational before the end of 2020.
Dr Bawumia expressed satisfaction at the pace of work, noting that it was another component of the overall effort by Government to make healthcare more accessible to Ghanaians.
“I see you are doing a great job here. This facility will make essential medical products like blood and serums more accessible to our brothers and sisters in remote areas, and make life better for us all. Our country is proud of you,” he told the workers.
Dr Bawumia, on Wednesday, 24 April 2019 launched the first-ever medical drone delivery service in Ghana, and the largest such drone delivery network in the world, at Omenako, near Suhum, in the Eastern Region.
The ‘Fly-To-Save-A-Life Project’, a collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Zipline Technologies, will provide a rapid response to medical emergencies, especially in hard to reach areas, through the flying of unmanned drones to such facilities.
The revolutionary new service uses drones to make on-demand, emergency deliveries of 148 different vaccines, blood products, and life-saving medications selected by the Ministry of Health.
Together, all four distribution centers will make up to 600 on-demand delivery flights a day on behalf of the Government of Ghana. Each Zipline distribution center will have the capacity to make up to 500 flights per day.