Concerned pharmacists embrace $12.5m medical drone contract

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A group of concerned pharmacists in Ghana under the umbrella body, Pharma Research Ghana have lauded government’s decision to deliver essential medical supplies through drones.

According to the group, the move will save government some money as against the current system of transporting supplies to rural areas.

This comes on the back of government the $12.5 million agreement  between US-based firm Zipline International Inc. and government of Ghana for the latter to distribute essential medical suppliers with the use of drones across the country.

The decision has been greeted with some protest from the Minority oin Parliament and some Ghanaians who questioned the amount involved and source of funding the project.

Some critics were not happy the contract was sole-sourced when drone technology abounds in the world. Others were of the view that the project is ill-timed because the health sector us fraught with litany of issues that ought to be dealt with first.

Nonetheless, Parliament through Majority vote approved the contract, giving government the go ahead to execute same.

Commenting on the issue, Pharma Research Ghana said although there are other issues confronting the health sector that ought to be addressed, the drone delivery of supplies offer a cost effective approach for distribution across the country, to ease some burden off the sector.

“As we work on improving human resource in rural areas, through education and better deployment strategies, drones offer a cost effective outlet for remedying some of these problems,” it said.

According to the group, research from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School has established that drone delivery of vaccines and other supplies are cheaper than being distributed by land.

The group further stated that the use of drone to distribute medical supplies is essential to Ghana’s Emergency Service Delivery system.

“The health benefits of this program are immense to say the least and it also confers some cost benefits. As the program rolls out, data on facilities and drug supply needed will be garnered.

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“Drugs will be supplied on a request basis and this would help to prevent expiries, shortages or stock-outs in facilities whilst aiding optimisation of procurement quantities and complete use of medicines purchased. Data saves cost and time which would lead to greater productivity in our health centres,” Pharma Research Ghana stated.

The group is therefore calling on all to embrace the news of delivery with drones to further enhance the healthcare system.

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