The government of Ghana has justified why it is “sole sourcing” its Ministry of Health Ghana Drone Delivery Project to an American company, Zipline.
Addressing a news conference in Accra on Tuesday, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service Dr. Nsiah Asare said “Zipline, a California based company is the only company in this medical drone supply business, in Africa and the world”.
“Hence the “sole sourcing” which the act permits” – he emphasized
Dr. Asare also clarified the controversy surrounding Project saying the “the Zipline drone project is performance driven service contract, which is contrary to the mathematical errors some minority MPs and other people were using”.
The Zipline drone project is performance driven service contract, which is contrary to the mathematical errors some minority MPs and other people were using.
Based on performance driven means; the zipline company will be paid base on the daily supplies per distribution centre. Hence payment is done base on performance specifications.
According to Dr. Asiah Asare, the government “bear no risk for the installation, the operation is not to our cost, a contract is purely a service contract,” but pays a service fees of “US$88,000 per distribution center per month when fully deployed (when performance specifications are met)”
The “$88,000 / 500 facilities per distribution center = $176 (that is GH¢ 847 per facility served every month” – he explains
“The Zipline drone project, is not only going to save lives of innocent Ghanaians, but also it will create over 200 high-skilled jobs for Ghanaian engineers, aviation experts and pharmacists” – He added
The drone delivery network, which will be run by the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health, will give Ghana one of the most advanced health care supply chains on the planet.
The drones will operate 24 hours a day from 4 distribution centers across the country. The first distribution center will be located near Suhum. The sites for the remaining 3 will be finalized by GHS subsequently, but are expected to cover much of the country.
The distribution centers will stock 148 lifesaving and essential medical supplies including emergency blood and oxytocin to save women’s lives in childbirth postpartum haemorrhage which is the leading cause of maternal death, emergency medicines for surgeries, severe infections, antivenins and anti-rabies, diabetic emergencies, extremely high blood pressure emergencies. When one of the of the 2,500 health facilities covered by the new service stocks out of a product, it will order an emergency delivery by a drone that will arrive in 30-40 minutes.
The drones will not replace the existing supply chain. They will specialize in handling emergency stock out situations. Ghana’s emergency medical drone delivery service will save tens of millions of Cedis by eliminating the need for expensive emergency trips to pick up the product, and by avoiding wasteful overstocking of product at health facilities. This revolutionary healthcare service will help save lives, decrease waste in the system and increase healthcare access for more than 14 million people nationwide.
The drones and delivery service are built and operated by Zipline, a California-based automated logistics company, which helped launched the world’s first national drone delivery service in Rwanda in October of 2016. The medical drone delivery service has been so successful at decreasing waste, increasing access and saving lives that the government of Rwanda recently asked Zipline to quadruple the size of its operation there.