Zipline defends drone deal

Head of System Integration at Zipline Ghana, Daniel Marfo, has mounted a spirited defence for the relevance of the drone delivery system proposed by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Government of Ghana, adding that the deal will save the country millions of Ghana cedis.

He described Zipline Ghana’s drone technology as an “emergency service until normal service is restored”

According to him, the drone technology will save millions of lives.

Speaking on Citi TV which was monitored by Today,   Mr. Marfo disclosed that the drone delivery technology after its implementation would have saved the country a lot of money which would have been wasted.

Mr. Marfo explained that there had been instances where Government procured in excess some medical supplies to treat a particular condition or outbreak, after which all of such supplies got expired after the condition or the outbreak was controlled.

 

He argued that the drone delivery technology piloted by Zipline will address all of such wastages in the Ghana Health service.

 

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 centres, expiries do happen… So this service helps in even distribution and prevention of waste in the health care 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”

 

The Head of System Integration at Zipline also disclosed that the company was working closely with the Ghana Health Service logistics and supply chain department as the “critical successes” of the deal depends on their efficient collaborations.

 

“One of the key stakeholders we have worked with is not even management, it is the logistics, supply chain managers and teams in the Ghana service, because the critical success of this project relies on the products being available”, he said.

 

With Parliament approving the drone delivery deal in parliament after a voice vote, Mr. Daniel Marfo said Zipline can now go ahead with some test drone trips to assess the efficacy or otherwise of this new technology in the Ghana Health space.

 

He explained that within six months, two delivery centres will be set up for the commencement of the project with the first to be established at Suhum.

 

 

When asked if there is a possibility of the drones being destroyed by birds, Mr. Marfo replied and explained that “everything is possible and that is one of the greatest things we have to address”.

 

He said the company in an attempt to address this challenge would have to fly the drones a height that makes it impossible for the birds to attack the drones.

 

“We have control measures to ward off birds so that they do not run the risk of running in”

 

 

Parliament passed the Services agreement between Flyzipline by a vote of 102-58.

 

This was after the First Deputy Speaker’s decision to have the agreement approved by a voice vote, was challenged by the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.

 

The service agreement has been the subject of tussle in the house with the Minority describing it as a misplaced priority while government believes it is a step in the right direction.

 

This was after the House deferred the approval on two occasions due to disagreements by the minority side. This was to allow for some regulatory checks to be completed.

 

Meanwhile, the Minority has said even though the agreement has been passed, they will not relent on their fight against it.

 

Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Ato Forson, said the Minority side was denied the opportunity to “debate the amendment as proposed by the Chairman of the Health Committee.”

 

 

Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

Pix: franklin.asare-donkor@todaygh.com

 

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