KENYA – Zipline, an American company that designs, manufactures, and operates delivery drones, has partnered with the County Government of Kisumu to conduct test flights of its instant logistics and delivery system ahead of its upcoming commercial delivery services in Kenya.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Zipline and the County Government, Zipline will deliver more than 200 medical products, including COVID-19 vaccines and blood products, to over 400 health facilities across Kisumu County.
This is a significant step towards the County’s universal health coverage goals.
The distribution hub, located at Chemelil, in Muhoroni Sub-County, will mark the first-ever drone deliveries of any products in Kenya, and is the first time a county government is putting Kenyans within a matter of minutes from the instant delivery of blood, medical, nutrition and animal health products.
“We look forward to working closely with Zipline to improve healthcare delivery and access across the county and to the larger Lake Region Economic Bloc,” Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o said.
“This partnership is in conjunction with the Community Strategy of our County Integrated Development Programme (CIDP), which aims to increase community access to healthcare to improve community productivity, decrease poverty and child and maternal deaths.”
Zipline’s instant fulfillment is equipped with a state-of-the-art warehousing facility and cold chain storage that keeps all products within the recommended standards for delivery.
In addition to delivering blood, medicine and medical supplies, Zipline delivers animal health and husbandry products to farmers.
“Our instant logistics system will enable community health facilities to consistently receive the medical products they need when they need them,” said Winfred Njeri, General Manager of Zipline, Kenya.
“After already flying more than thirty-five million commercial miles, this is not a test flight to prove our technology, but one to demonstrate to our partners in Kenya its reliability.
“We are excited and honoured to be partnering with the County Government of Kisumu, our first customer in Kenya and we look forward to serving more counties from this hub. ”
Founded in 2014, Zipline is an instant delivery service that operates a drone manufacturing and delivery system.
The Zipline instant delivery service helps to ramp up national healthcare systems and connect hospitals and laboratories with patients, improving outcomes and reducing wait times, especially in remote communities.
Kenya becomes Zipline’s fifth country of operation in Africa after successful launches in Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire.
The company is expected to announce the start of commercial deliveries in the coming weeks.