Zipeline drones : Referral of patients has reduced drastically - Health officer

By Wendy Amarteifio
Zipeline drones : Referral of patients has reduced drastically - Health officer

A Community Health Officer at the Mangoase Health Centre, Bernice Acheampong, has disclosed that with the introduction of Zipline, referrals of patients to other health centres due to the unavailability of drugs has reduced drastically.

According to her, the Zipline medical drones have been very responsive to the medical needs of people in the Eastern Region.

Zipline, Ghana’s largest medical drone delivery service was launched by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in April 2019,  at Omenako, Eastern Region, to improve medical delivery service in the country.

The service, which is a collaboration between Ghana’s Ministry of Health and Zipline Technologies, uses drones to make emergency deliveries of 148 different vaccines, blood products, and life-saving medications.

The service also operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from four distribution centres each equipped with 30 drones and deliver to 2,000 health facilities serving 12 million people across the country.

Speaking to DailyGuide Bernice Acheampong explained that with the introduction of the drone delivery service, the health needs of patients are met immediately and the situation has changed now as compared to previously

 “When we are short of drugs and we order, at once, we get it. Before if its emergency and there is no drug, we have no option than to refer the patients to other hospitals, either in Koforidua or Mampong. With the coming of Zipline, our referrals have drastically reduced”.

In another development, Zipline’s Medical drone has helped save the lives of 113 students of the Mangoase Senior High School in the Eastern Region.

The headmaster of the School, Seth Tawiah Agbesi said but for the timely delivery of ORS to the school by Zipline drone, the fate of the students would have been something different.

The students had suffered acute diarrhoea on Sunday, June 23, 2019, a situation the headmaster attributed to food contamination.

He revealed that the diarrhoea outbreak occurred after the students ate groundnut soup with rice as their supper on Saturday evening.

The Headmaster indicated that probably the food was not well-cooked, resulting in the diarrhoea incidence.

According to him, the Health Centre the school authorities contacted advised that Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) be administered immediately to the students.

However, he said the medication was not in the school nor the health facility at the time. Adding to that he said the situation became severe but the timely intervention of Zipline gave them a sign of relief.

“So an order was placed immediately to Zipline Centre at Omenako and within 20 minutes, Zipline sent a drone with five boxes of ORS. Each box contained five packs of ORS, giving a total of 125,” he said.

 “I was very very happy. Really, we have benefited. Initially, I thought it was for big hospitals; I didn’t know it was for those of us in the rural areas'', he added.



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