KENYA – Kisumu County in Kenya has entered into an agreement with Zipline, the global leader in instant logistics, to leverage Zipline’s warehousing facility and aircraft technology in delivering essential medical commodities to health facilities.

The agreement will improve delivery of Covid-19 vaccines, blood products, other medical commodities, animal health interventions and logistics in Kisumu and neighboring counties.

Zipline’s drones will not only deliver medical supplies to more than 1,250 health facilities in lake region counties but also ensure medical products are supplied on time.

It will also save health facilities from incurring losses from expired drugs as they will only order what they need at a given time.

The Zipline and Kisumu County collaboration will solidify transformational logistics medical delivery in Western Kenya and put Kenya on the forefront of health excellence.

The automated, on-demand delivery will transform healthcare systems to make them more efficient, effective and equitable across the county.

The drones both take off from Zipline’s distribution hub requiring no additional infrastructure or manpower at the clinics they serve.

Deliveries are made from the sky with the drone descending to a safe height above the ground and releasing a box of medicine by parachute to a designated spot.

The partnership will allow establishment and operation of a Zipline distribution hub in Kisumu County, a member of the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB), aimed at improving the overall healthcare delivery.

The Lake Region Economic Bloc is designed to guide development efforts by leveraging existing assets, addressing constraints and defining key steps that will transform the shared vision of prosperity into reality.

LREB presents the aspirations of 14 counties in the Lake Basin Region namely Bomet, Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kericho, Kisumu, Kisii, Migori, Nyamira, Nandi, Siaya, Trans Nzoia and Vihiga.

The distribution hub will act as the base of operations for the Zipline uncrewed aerial system (UAS) and the Zipline services capable of serving health projects and facilities across 16 counties in Western Kenya.

After Zipline’s UAS delivery operations begin from its distribution hub, the parties will collaborate in a project operations phase in accordance with standard operating procedure and terms of service.

The Chairman of LREB and County Governor of Kakamega Dr Wycliffe Oparanya said that the partnership is in line with Kenya’s mission of achieving universal health coverage which will ensure that no one is left behind as a result of their location.

It is one step towards reducing operational inefficiencies that inhibit access to universal healthcare in Kenya and the region,” he noted.

Oparanya assured that the regional bloc was committed to building a robust health delivery system that will serve the vast majority of people within LREB counties.

Zipline’s technology can accelerate the transformation of the Lake Region health systems to provide timely healthcare solutions to the people on whose mandate we serve,” noted Dr Oparanya.

The Senior Vice President for Zipline Africa, Mr. Daniel Marfo assured that Zipline would hasten the distribution hub construction process to ensure that access to healthcare for life-threatening illness and vaccines is achieved rapidly.

Zipline’s footprint in Africa has seen it establish business partnerships in Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and now Kenya where it seeks to carry an industrious technology driven transformation in the health sectors,” he revealed.

The Zipline team will coordinate with health facilities in targeted counties for medical supplies as well as develop systems which responds to the needs of the health facilities for efficient and smooth operation.

Zipline’s expansion into Kenya, its seventh country, in partnership with Kisumu County is a pivotal step forward to expand important technology benefits to more communities around the world.

Data from Zipline indicates that they have so far made 20,000 deliveries since 2016.

They have also managed to deliver five million Covid-19 vaccine doses, 120,000 blood units and 900,000 medical supplies in Rwanda, Ghana and Nigeria.

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