The Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has said that by September 2018, Ghana will distribute blood and other medicines to remote parts of the country using drones.
Dr Bawumia explained that this is part of the government’s effort to ensure quality healthcare delivery. The Vice President was speaking at the 2018 Annual Health Summit in Accra. He disclosed that the government would sign a Memorandum of Understanding this week to put the technology into effect.
“By the grace of God; there are ongoing discussions, we are looking at innovative ways to deliver blood supplies as well as essential medicines to remote areas. As the rains come in, some areas are going to be cut off… Do we allow mothers to die because we can’t have blood supplies or essential medicines? Ghana this week will be signing an MOU and by the middle of this year or by September, we will join Malawi and Rwanda with using drone technology to deliver blood supplies and essential medicines. So we are going to do that this year.”
The Vice President did not give full details about this development, but he said the government is willing to introduce other innovations to boost the country’s health sector.
In Africa, Rwanda is one of the few countries working with US-based automated logistics firm, Zipline International Inc. to deliver blood and vaccines by a drone on demand to patients including women in labour in rural communities. This has saved the lives of many women as a result of hemorrhage during childbirth.
However, in Ghana, the maternal mortality rates continue to be a major source of worry especially for health practitioners who believe many of the deaths, particularly in rural areas, could be avoided if essential medicines and blood are made available to women in labour.