Zipline delivers more than 500,000 COVID-19 vaccines across Ghana

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Medical drone delivery giant, Zipline, has announced the delivery of more than 500,000 COVID-19 vaccines across Ghana, especially within hard-to-reach areas in four of its distribution centres.

This has come at a time when several countries within the sub-region are struggling to decentralise the roll-out of these vaccines.

The use of aerial unmanned drones to efficiently deliver medical commodities, including Covid-19 vaccines, positioned Ghana as a country on a sustainable path towards achieving vaccination for her population.

Naa Adorkor Yawson, the General Manager of Zipline, who made the disclosure in Accra, said since 2019 Ghana had relied on Zipline’s cold chain storage system and instant logistic vehicle to push the radical vaccination of Ghanaians through an elaborate vaccination roll-out programme.

The Ministry of Health’s collaboration with Zipline has seen the country’s front delivery infrastructure speeding up the vaccine rollout plan, thus attracting commendation from many stakeholders.

“We remain honoured to be working with the Government of Ghana on a mission that seeks to eradicate all barriers that prevents the efficient rollout of these vaccines to all parts of the country,” she said.

“Our technology is a tried and tested one, having delivered over three-million programmed vaccines to more than a thousand health facilities in several hard-to-reach areas of Ghana,” Ms Yawson said.

“Today, we are able to deliver medical products and vaccines to areas such as Afram Plains within forty-five minutes, a distance that could take close to six hours by road, from our closest distribution hub”.

Elsewhere in other African countries, she said, the report card on vaccine rollout remained a huge challenge.

In March 2021, South Sudan had to destroy 59,000 Covid-19 vaccines out of 200,000 received.

In April the same year, the Democratic Republic of Congo returned 1.3 million doses of vaccines to COVAX, UNICEF citing challenges of a lack of storage system.

Similar concerns in Malawi saw the burning of 20,000 expired vaccines and over the course of time, nearly 450,000 doses of vaccines have been destroyed by African countries largely due to storage and distribution challenges.

The case seems different in Ghana, thanks to the efficient rollout by the Government with support from Zipline Technology.

For years, Ghana has been working to improve its supply chain to be more agile and equitable in disease eradication efforts like polio,

To date, Zipline has distributed nearly 3.8 million vaccines, including routine immunisation vaccines requiring sensitive cold-storage handling.

Ghana is among the fastest African countries to administer COVID-19 doses and it is projected that at the end of the year, the figure of 500,000 vaccine deliveries by Zipline will double as publicity is firmed up for more people to be vaccinated.

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