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Ghana Commended For Setting Pace In Adoption Of Medical Drone Technology In Africa.

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Ghana Commended For Setting Pace In Adoption Of Medical Drone Technology In Africa.

The Senior Vice President, Zipline Africa, Daniel Marfo, has lauded the efforts of the government of Ghana for the bold decision of opting to use drone technology to improve healthcare delivery in the country.

Mr Marfo was speaking in Calabar, Nigeria during the signing of an MoU with the Cross River State for the use of Zipline’s drone technology to deliver essential medical commodities within the state.

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Commendations

“The government of Ghana needs to be commended for the rather bold decision of adopting the Zipline technology at a time when many thought it was not possible to use drones to deliver medical commodities “, Mr Marfo said. “The government stands vindicated as the technology has been of an immense help in the total health system in Ghana, particularly in the delivery of medicines and blood components to hard-to-reach areas of Ghana”.

Status of operations in Ghana

Zipline currently operates from four distribution centers in Ghana; Omenako, Mpanya, Vobsi and Sefwi Wiawso. The company makes an average daily delivery of 100 medical commodities from each of the distribution centers. “Our services have been well received across the country and it seems to me that only those in the city centers, where we do not serve, still doubt the significant work we are doing in Ghana,” Said the Country Manager of Zipline Ghana, Mrs Yawson Naa Adorkor.

To date, ZIPLINE has delivered over 650,000 medical commodities across all the four distribution centers. Of this number, more than 42,000 were medical products while the remaining comprises blood products, vaccines and Covid-19 samples.

Expansion to Nigeria

The signing in Cross River state brings to two states in Nigeria that have signed onto the Zipline technology. Construction is already underway in Kaduna state, after a successful signing earlier this year.

Commenting on the partnership with Zipline, the Governor of Cross River State, H.E. Ben Ayade, said “Healthcare is one of our top priorities, and we are committed to creating a system in which no one is left behind. Zipline is a key, innovative part of our investment in our health systems. Their delivery service will help us to remove access barriers to health care and help create a more equitable and efficient system across the state.” “The focus of this partnership is to ensure that all barriers hindering the successful delivery of medical commodities to our people is removed. This is one of the many forward-thinking interventions we are implementing to consolidate the gains we have made within the health care system”, he said.

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Ghana setting the pace

Mr Marfo said the positive stories from Ghana has made many more countries in Africa reaching out to know how the technology could be of support to them. “We are in talks with a number of countries in Africa, who have all expressed their readiness to go the way of Ghana in using our technology; and while we expand to Africa, we definitely need to come back to say thank you to the government and people of Ghana for setting the pace. We remain committed to ensuring that we bring value to what we do”.

Health

Open Defecation Is a Health Hazard – Lecturer

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Open Defecation Is a Health Hazard – Lecture

Engineer Mrs. Asantewaa Tanor, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Civil Engineering, Ho Technical University (HTU), Friday noted that open defecation was not only a health hazard, but also made women and girls vulnerable to attacks and assaults.

She therefore urged individuals, churches, organizations and communities to treat the provision of toilets as their topmost priority.

Madam Tanor who was speaking at a ceremony to mark World Toilet Day celebration at Adaklu Kodzobi in the Adaklu District, noted that provision of toilets in schools also helped keep girls in school during their menstruation.

The Day, which was organised by the Civil Engineering Department of HTU was on the theme “valuing toilets”.

The world toilet day was said to be the initiative of a certain Jack Sim from Singapore who founded the World Toilet Organization, an NGO in the year 2001.

The United Nations General Assembly in its 67th session on July 24, 2013 passed a resolution by which it designated November 19 every year as World Toilet Day.

One hundred and twenty-two member states adopted the resolution.

Madam Tanor said the Day was aimed to create and spread awareness about ideal sanitary practices that promote the health, hygiene and safety of all, especially women.

She hinted that about 3.6 billion people in the world were currently without safely managed sanitation and toilets.

She described the situation as worrying, adding “we must therefore not brush aside the issue of toilets and keep it in the dark.”

Madam Tanor urged those who had toilets in their homes, work places and communities to keep them clean and hygienic always.

Togbe Dzegblade IV, chief of the community, was grateful to the Department for selecting his community among the lot, to celebrate the Day.

He expressed the hope that the bond between the community and the University would be strengthened.
Togbe Dzegblade said the community had a 20-seater functional water closet toilet and urged the people to patronise and always kept

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GHS revises age of recipients of Pfizer vaccine to 15 years

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GHS revises age of recipients of Pfizer vaccine to 15 year

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General, Ghana Health Service (GHS), says the Food and Drugs Authority has revised the age of recipients qualified to receive the Pfizer vaccine to 15 years.

He said the revision of the ages from 18 and above to 15 years would help adolescents to be vaccinated to reduce school outbreaks of COVID-19, especially for Senior High School students and reduce the transmission of the disease to adults at home.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said this at the CHPS Database Dissemination Forum organised as part of efforts aimed at strengthening Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) implementation under its Technical Cooperation Project, ‘CHPS for Life Project’ to accelerate the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

He said the country originally registered the ages of 18 and above as qualified recipients of the Pfizer vaccines, whereas the United States of America registered Pfizer for 12 years and above.

The Director-General said the adolescents were the most active group in the society and as expected, they would be moving about more during the upcoming festive season and since COVID-19 was about the movement it was important to get them vaccinated.

He said it would also help the country have proper herd immunity when they were added to the total population of those to be vaccinated.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye stated that they were engaging major stakeholders, including the Ghana Education Service on the modalities on how the vaccination of the adolescents would be carried out.

‘‘We have the consent issues like the adults’ but this is a risk for all of us and I believe that this something we can all get above and be able to vaccinate as many people to protect us all,’’ he said.

He said adolescents who were out of school and within the age group would also be vaccinated.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said there were some Pfizer vaccines in the country and they were expecting more Pfizer from Covax and other places as well.

 

GNA

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GHS lauds Zipline for facilitating child Immunization in Ghana

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GHS lauds Zipline for facilitating child Immunization in Ghana

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has commended Zipline Ghana Limited, a medical drone delivery company, for its industrial revolution in facilitating the immunization of dozens in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal of the Western North Region and other parts of the country.

The GHS said the previous challenges that delayed the transport of medications, unavailability of storage systems for vaccines, and administrative bottlenecks would no longer pose a threat to healthcare delivery in the Municipality after Zipline’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) made delivery of several components of vaccines in record time.

The government of Ghana in April 2019, signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Zipline Ghana Limited for the transportation of medical supplies to hard-to-reach communities due to inaccessible roads.

The partnership has since expanded the tentacle of the Company to include distribution of Covid-19 samples for testing and child immunization vaccines delivery nationwide.

In an interaction with the media, Mr Clement Baffour, the Municipal Focal Person for Immunization for the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal, said the involvement of Zipline in the supply chain process of the GHS represented a “game-changer” in the health delivery apparatus.

He added that since the involvement of Zipline, the challenges of delivering vaccines had become a thing of the past.

Mr Baffour expressed the gratitude of the beneficiary communities and called for more support for the company to help reduce the high mortality rate by facilitating emergency delivery of medication to patients.

“I think Zipline has brought a lot of relief to the communities and this directorate in the discharge of its work, for which reason they must be commended for their innovation. Previously, we had to travel to Takoradi to take delivery of vital medications for lack of storage facilities.

“But having witnessed the innovation of Zipline’s drones, it is safe to say that we are out of the woods.

“We will continue to share in the benefit of their work and pray for them to succeed”, Mr Baffour said.

Mr Oheneba Municipal Director of Health Service Opoku-Darko, for Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal, spoke fondly of how the company had substantially reduced the defaulter rate in the administration of child immunization vaccines in the municipality.

He said that before the intervention of Zipline, whenever the quantum of vaccines delivered for service provision got finished, there was no backup available and, therefore, most patients often missed the opportunity to take their vaccines at the required time.

“This is now a thing of the past. A parent cannot miss this immunization any longer on the basis of non-availability of the vaccines as Zipline is just a call or text away and they deliver just-in-time to make our work much easier”.

He commended government for the partnership with the company, which had ensured every citizen, irrespective of proximity, has equal access to healthcare delivery in the Country.

GNA

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