Kenya to get drones for fast medicine delivery

Kenya is among African countries expected to soon start delivery of medical products using drones.

Feller Rinaudo, the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Zipline International, an American medical products delivery company, made the announcement in Ghana during the launch of a medical drone project.

Mr Rinaudo said negotiations were alive and at an advanced stage.

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“Neighbouring Uganda is equally on course for the futuristic medical delivery system that has saved many lives in Rwanda, where the project was first launched three years ago,” he stated.

The ceremony at Omenako outside Accra was witnessed by Ghana Vice President Alhaji Muhamudu Bawumia and Health Minister Kweku Agyeman Manu among other senior state officials.

Rinaudo said the revolutionary new 24-hour service would use drones to make on-demand emergency deliveries of 148 different vaccines, blood products, and life-saving medications to needy cases throughout Ghana.

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He said each of the four distribution centres around the country would be equipped with 30 drones that would carry delivery to 2,000 health facilities serving 12 million people. “Each of the four centres will make 500 trips per day,” said Rinaudo.

He noted that millions of people around the world died yearly because they could not promptly access the medicine they need.

He said Zipline was building the first logistics system on the planet to serve all people equally.

Rinaudo the system was easy to work with, as health workers only needed to place orders by text message and receive their deliveries in 30 minutes, on average, from distribution centres.

“The drones fly autonomously and can carry 1.8 kilos of cargo, cruising at 110 kilometers an hour, and have an all-weather round trip range of 160 kilometers,” said Rinaudo.

Dr Bawumia urged other African countries to emulate Ghana and Rwanda to save lives through distribution of medical products using drones.

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