President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday commissioned Ghana’s fourth Medical Drone Distribution Centre at Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region.
The Centre is to help expand the reach to essential medical services by deprived and hard-to-reach communities.
At a short ceremony at Sefwi Wiawso, President Akufo-Addo indicated that government was determined to ensuring that “we do not leave anyone behind in access to essential medicines.”
He said with the coming on-stream of the fourth distribution centre, Zipline, the company that operates the service, now had the capability to serve about 2,000 health facilities within its range.
The development, he noted, meant that Ghana now had the biggest medical drone delivery service in the world.
The President said though some political actors made ill-considered statements about the drones, “the Ghanaian people can all see how impactful this service has been, just within the past eighteen months of its operations.”
Buttressing that point, he cited the example of one Charles Coffie, a 44-year-old driver in the Eastern Region, who was saved by the supply of emergency blood products after he suffered severe bleeding during an operation, saying: “This is the kind of impact we are talking about”.
“I am told that some 120,000 medical products have been delivered to several health facilities across the country from the various distribution centres,” he noted.
President Akufo-Addo said the drones were used to expedite the transportation of samples to laboratory centres across the country during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have also heard very positive stories from health practitioners of the various health facilities benefiting from this project. These testimonies point to one thing – we cannot afford to play politics with everything in this country,” he said.
“The incessant politicisation of all issues does no credit to Ghanaian public life. When Zipline is called to supply blood products during emergency situations, it does not ask if the recipient is an NPP or NDC member before doing so. Health, like many other aspects of our national life, knows no party colours.”
The President is on a three-day tour of the Region.