Zipline, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) manufacturer based in San Francisco, launched a program in Ghana to deliver medical supplies via drones.
In collaboration with the Government of Ghana, Zipline will run 30 drones through four delivery hubs to distribute vaccines, blood and life-saving medications to 2,000 health facilities across Ghana daily.
“We’ll do 600 flights a day…and serve 12 million people. This is going to be the largest drone delivery network on the planet,” Keller Rinaudo, CEO of Zipline said.
According to President Nana Akufo-Addo, the initiative is to ensure that patients have easy access to their medication during emergencies.
The move, he said is a major step towards giving everyone in the country universal access to lifesaving medicine.
Zipline’s operations began in Rwanda and, after a testing period in coordination with the government of Rwanda, Zipline went live in the East African country in 2016, claiming the first national drone-delivery program at scale in the world.
The manufacturing company has used its experience in Rwanda to begin testing medical delivery services in the United States.
Founded in 2014, Zipline designs and manufactures its own UAVs, launch and landing systems and logistics software.
Zipline is eyeing additional countries for delivery operations beyond Ghana, Rwanda and its pilot operations in the U.S. In addition to its launch in Ghana, Zipline plans to move from pilot-phase to live-delivery of medical supplies in the U.S. sometime this summer, a company spokesperson confirmed.