Ashanti Region: President Commissions zipline centre, cautions against politicking with health issues

President Akufo Addo Commissioning the Mpanya Zipline Drone Centre

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has cautioned political leaders against playing politics with matters of health.

The President who was commissioning the latest Zipline drone Centre at Mpanya in the Mampong Municipality of the Ashanti region said the “incessant politicization of all issues does no credit to Ghanaian politics” and added that “health, like several other aspects of our national life, knows no party colours”.

He said he is so far impressed with the delivery of Zipline and charged Zipline 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 is neither buying the drones not the associated infrastructure but rather only paying for medical supplies delivered.

He said government has invested heavily in the health delivery system of the country to make health facilities more responsive to the health needs of the people. He cited ambulances procured as one staggering example of the investments the government is making in the health arena.

Nursing Trainees dancing at the Commissioning of Zipline’s Mpanya drone Centre

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. He added that the “centre at Omenako is serving 52 health facilities while the latest one at Mpanya will serve 16 facilities from day one” with the addition of more facilities within weeks. He projected that by April, 2020, Zipline will be making deliveries to some two thousand Health facilities across the country.

Director General of the Ghana Health Service; Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare

Director General of the Ghana Health Service; Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare praised the successes of Zipline since they started their operations and hoped that Zipline will collaborate with his outfit to ensure that Polio vaccines reach difficult to reach localities in the ongoing Polio vaccination.

He also hoped that referrals and death toll due to lack of essential medical products will reduce drastically due to the impact of Zipline’s work.

US Ambassador to Ghana; Stephanie Sullivan

US Ambassador to Ghana; Stephanie Sullivan emphasized the role of the United States in making the drone service a reality rehashed her country’s commitment to partnering Ghana to ensure the health and wellbeing of her people.

Ghana’s Medical drone delivery service is currently the biggest in the world less than a year after the service was first launched in the country.

The idea of deploying drones for medical deliveries was received by Ghanaians with mixed feelings with some fearing the cost to the nation while others had various suspicions.

Zipline was officially launched in Ghana in April, 2019 to transport medical essentials to various health facilities across the country. The launch followed the completion of the infrastructure with successful trials of the drones in the Omenako centre near Suhum in the Eastern Region.

Many medical practitioners and beneficiaries of the service are excited about the life-saving potential of the technology and hope it will be expanded to all parts of the country.

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