NIGERIA – Zipline, a global leader in instant logistics and deliveries, has announced the beginning of its commercial deliveries of essential medical products to health facilities within Cross River State in Nigeria.

This announcement follows a successful approval and a right-to-fly certification from the Civil Aviation Authorities in Nigeria.

Health officials at the Maternal and Child Health Clinic (MCH) were the very first recipients of the delivery of a medical product from the Ndok distribution centre of Zipline.

The health officer-in-charge of Primary Health Centre, Ibil – Ogoja, Mr. Godwin Ipuole, expressed appreciation to the state government for the bold decision to use technology to remove the access barriers that many far-to-reach communities, like Ibil, face in the course of their work.

“Vaccine stock-outs have been a huge challenge to us. Our inability to always meet the health needs of our clients, simply on the grounds of the non-availability of essential medicines lowers our motivation,” he said.

“I have no doubt that with such a transformative technology, our primary challenge of access will be a thing of the past.”

Cross River state becomes the second state in Nigeria after Kaduna state to go commercial with the use of Zipline drone technology.

Director General of the Cross-River State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Deaconess Mrs. Abasioffiong Offiong, said the decision to partner with Zipline was to support the efforts of the State in the quest to achieve Universal Health Coverage.

“It is our expectation that all medical commodities to all the primary healthcare agencies within the various local governments will be sourced from Zipline,” said Offiong.

“With the degree of efficiency that Zipline puts into their work, we anticipate that all essential medicines requested will be delivered timely and within the right conditions. This is an opportunity for us as a State to improve the overall universal health delivery project we have committed to deliver.”

Zipline, as part of the memorandum of understanding with the Cross River State, will build and operate two distribution centers from where they will store essential medicines and vaccines.

Health workers will place orders by text message or call and promptly receive their deliveries exactly when and where they need them in 30 minutes on average.

“Our technology is proven to be one of choice for the last mile delivery. By this partnership with the Cross-River State, we should immediately begin seeing very significant improvements in the delivery of essential medicines and vaccines to health facilities within our operational area,” said Catherine Odiase, General Manager of Zipline Nigeria.

“We are deeply indebted to the State government and all the state agencies that worked tirelessly to get us the required certification for the commencement of commercial deliveries in Cross River State.”

Zipline drones fly autonomously and can carry 3 kilos of cargo, cruising at 110 kilometers an hour, and have a round trip range of 220 kilometers – even in high-speed winds and rain.

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 at the health centres and community delivery points it serves.

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