Zipline, Kaduna begin first drone medical deliveries in Nigeria – Guardian Nigeria

Wealthlandnews
Wealthlandnews June 4, 2022
Updated 2022/06/05 at 11:10 AM

Kaduna state Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai PHOTO: Twitter
Nigeria has become the third country in Africa and fifth globally in drone medical deliveries, as Zipline in partnership with Kaduna State Government, yesterday, completed the first drone deliveries in country.
With this feat, Nigeria joined Ghana and Rwanda in Zipline’s medical and health facilities drone delivery network. These initial flights in Kaduna marked the final stage of integration with the local health systems and validation with the regulatory authorities.
Zipline, the global leader in instant logistics and Kaduna State Government expect to deliver medical supplies to hundreds of health facilities to help create a more agile, responsive and accessible health system, subject to final regulatory approval.
Speaking at the inaugural flight in Kaduna, the State Governor, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, said Zipline has a proven track record of health system transformation.
He said, “Today, we’re making our first flights to pave the way toward bringing this proven service to Kaduna. We are proud to be the very first state in Nigeria to adopt this innovative supply chain to support our efforts in healthcare delivery.
“Zipline’s system is a powerful next step in Kaduna State’s ongoing efforts to create a smarter, stronger health system that better serves everyone in our state.
“Zipline will operate three distribution centres across the state, covering an area of 46, 000 square kilometres and delivering to approximately 500 health facilities, serving millions of people.
The company will begin by delivering more than 200 different medical products, including medicines and routine vaccines, with plans to expand to more soon.”
Also, Kaduna State Health Commissioner, Amina Mohammed Baloni, said Zipline would bring its proven COVID-19 vaccine distribution model to Nigeria.
According to her, the company and its partners pioneered this model with the Government of Ghana; to date, they have successfully delivered over 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccines across the country and investment in the supply chain makes health systems more efficient, effective and equitable.
“Today’s flights are an important step toward ensuring people across Kaduna have access to the care they need, precisely when and where they need it to drive better health outcomes and foster healthier communities,” she added.
In his remarks, Senior Vice President of Africa at Zipline, Daniel Marfo, said: “Today marks Zipline’s first deliveries in Nigeria, home to both the largest economy and population on the continent. Its operation will begin with test flights delivering medical supplies to health facilities as part of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s final approval process.
“Regular commercial operations in Kaduna are expected to begin later this month, and the company has also signed agreements with a number of other states that it plans to launch later this year.
“Instant logistics enables governments and health systems to optimise their supply chains and reimagine how care is delivered. Today’s flights mark one more step toward unlocking these benefits for millions more people, and bringing us one step closer to effective, agile systems that better serve all people.
“Zipline has a demonstrated track record of working with governments and health systems to transform health supply chains to be more efficient, accessible and sustainable.
“A recent independent study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, showed Zipline’s instant logistics system has significantly increased the availability, reliability and range of inventory at health facilities in Ghana by addressing supply chain challenges.”
For Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and former President of ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, with over 315,000 commercial deliveries worldwide, Zipline has built an impressive record of safe, reliable, impactful service.
“Soon, the company is expected to bring this game changing service to millions more people, and bring us one step closer to a world where anyone can get whatever they need, whenever and wherever they need it.
“Today’s flights were made possible through Zipline and Kaduna State’s collaboration with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency and the International Civil Aviation Organisation.”
Zip line distribution centre, a combination of medical fulfillment warehouse and drone airport, is capable of the micro-targeted delivery of over two tons of temperature-controlled medicine to any point across an almost 20, 000 square km service area.
Each aircraft can fly 160 km round trip, in strong winds and rain, day or night, to make on-demand deliveries in 30 minutes on average. Zipline’s drones have flown 18 million autonomous miles to deliver millions of doses of vaccines, units of blood, and critical and life saving medications to thousands of health facilities serving more than 25 million people across three countries.

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