The vaccine alliance, established by the UK in collaboration with GAVI, is supporting the Ghanaian government in collecting coronavirus test samples from across the country using the zipline UAV, improving the African country’s ability to provide vaccines for diseases such as yellow fever and poliomyelitis and to collect coronavirus test kits, especially in rural areas where roads are difficult to pass.
The UK government, GAVI, Gates Foundation and UPS foundation, the logistics company, jointly funded zipline’s UAV site.
These sites are usually located in inaccessible areas, allowing health experts to safely collect test samples and transport them to a testing laboratory in Ghana. These sites are also used for UAVs to load medical supplies to ensure that they can meet the needs of the public. In addition, these sites can be used for medical staff to settle in to support rural communities in small community health centers.
Inconvenient transportation and poor roads mean it will take several days for samples to reach the testing center in Ghana from rural areas. It also makes people who ship test samples susceptible to coronavirus.
With support from the UK and GAVI, the zipline drone can deliver test samples within hours. This means that cases can be quickly identified and treated, thereby reducing the spread of infection. Coronavirus test samples have been collected from more than 1000 health centers in rural Ghana and taken to laboratories in Accra and Kumasi.
In addition to delivering coronavirus test samples and medical equipment, the zipline drone is also delivering immunization kits to protect children from deadly diseases such as diphtheria and measles, which still affect communities across Ghana every year.
Currently, Ghana is a world leader in the use of UAV technology, which has helped thousands of children in remote areas get vaccines.
Editor in charge: GT