The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has employed the services of the Zipline Medical Drones to deliver COVID-19 samples for testing.
The test flight was successfully conducted yesterday when samples from remote parts of the Ashanti Region were delivered to Kumasi for testing.
The successful delivery of COVID-19 samples by the drone is further proof of the technology’s usefulness and contribution to medical delivery in the country.
The medical drone service, which was launched by Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia last year, has been providing swift responses to medical emergencies by dropping much-needed drugs to medical facilities when distress calls are placed to a command centre.
Despite the constant political criticism of the introduction of the drones, its reliable interventions in emergency situations, such as yesterday’s delivery of COVID-19 samples, have helped many deprived communities.
The drones often deliver life-saving medical reliefs to patients in deprived communities where access to drugs in emergency situations would have been difficult.
As the GHS embarks on intensive contact tracing and testing following the confirmation of positive cases in the regions, sources have confirmed that more drones will be used for swift delivery of samples from remote communities for testing.
There are currently two Zipline Medical Drone Zones in Omenako in the Eastern Region and Mampong in the Ashanti Region.
Works are also nearing completion for the forth and fifth zones at Kukua near Walewale, in the North East Region and Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region.
The Zipline drone is able to travel to about 500 health facilities within an 80-kilometer range from any of the zones throughout the country to deliver drugs and other medical essentials.
In its COVID-19 role, the drones will mainly be delivering samples from remote areas to designated COVID-19 testing centres.