Zipline has become one of the most prominent companies in the health and technology sector. It is popularly known for establishing the first drone delivery program in Rwanda. In Rwanda’s drone project, drones are used to deliver life-saving medical aid to remote areas. Moreover, this has saved hundreds of lives.

Political uncertainty

With political affairs trickling in, Zipline had to defend its stance in Ghana. A minority group had raised objection against the company operating in Ghana. However, Head of System Integration at Zipline Ghana, Daniel Marfo, has issued statements in the Ghana parliament. The statements have satisfactorily explained the relevance of Zipline in Ghana.

He described the Zipline service as an ‘emergency service’ until normal service was restored in Ghana. He also added that drone delivery service can save millions of lives. It can not only save lives but also can save Ghana’s governments millions of cedis.

Speaking on Citi TV, Mr. Marfo disclosed that the drone delivery technology after its implementation would have saved the country a lot of money which would have been otherwise wasted. Additionally, he explained that there have been instances where the government had procured excess medical supplies to treat an outbreak or epidemic. Once the disease had been terminated, a lot of the excess supplies had gone to waste. Thereafter the Ghana government had made some significant investments to distribute the excess medical supplies elsewhere for compensation. He cited that this has cost the Ghana government quite a fortune in the past and Zipline’s drones could prevent that from happening again.

Zipline’s drones could save millions of Cedis

Mr. Marfo said Ghanaians should look at the deal from a “value for money analysis”. “The other thing here is that you have to cost wastage. If you go to a lot of health centers, expiries do happen… So this service helps in even distribution and prevention of waste in the healthcare space. So if you look at savings on transportation cost, savings on wastage, this can potentially free up millions of Ghana cedis for the ministry of health and the Ghana health service. Which can also be invested in other areas which are also in need of investments. So we are seeing this from a value for money analysis and the possibility of it freeing up wastage” Mr. Marfo added.

He also disclosed that Zipline had been closely working with the Ghana Health Service logistics and supply chain department as the success of Ziplined depended on efficient collaborations.

The final vote and further concerns

The parliament went ahead to approve the deal after a voice vote. Parliament passed the Services agreement between Flyzipline by a vote of 102-58. Finally, Mr. Marfo said that Zipline would now go ahead with some test drone trips to assess the efficiency of this rather new technology in Ghana Health Space. Also, he explained that within six months, two delivery centers will be set up for the commencement of the project with the first to be established at Suhum.

A possibility of the drones being destroyed by birds exists as stated in the parliament. However, Mr. Marfo has said that Zipline has countermeasures ready to battle that problem. This could be achieved by flying the drones to a much higher altitude where birds cannot interfere with their flight.

With the green flag being given to Zipline, it might establish a medical drone delivery system better than what presently exists in Rwanda.