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Kaduna to commence drone delivery of medical supplies by year end

Kaduna State Government said that arrangement has been concluded to commence delivery of medical supplies through Zipline drones to hard-to-reach areas before the end of 2021.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, who disclosed this in a recent media chat, said that Zipline, a United States-based company which will operate the service, is already training Kaduna State citizens in Ghana to operate the drones.

El-Rufai said that Kaduna State will be the first sub-national in Nigeria to achieve this feat, adding that the first delivery site will be located in Pambegua in a building that has already been completed.

According to him, the drone service can deliver medical consumables like essential medicines, blood and vaccines to more than 1,000 health facilities serving millions of people across Kaduna state.

He said the drone will be delivering medical supplies 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from three distribution centers equipped with 30 drones.

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He further said that Kaduna state is still discussing with security agencies and aviation authorities for clearance before the deployment of the medical supply drones.

The governor said that the State Government is out to use technology to establish universal, seven-days-a-week access to lifesaving and critical medicines for most of its citizens over the coming years.

According to El-Rufai, the state also plans to overhaul medical supplies, in collaboration with Zipline which operates the largest medical drone supply facility in the world.

“Bottlenecks like bad roads, expiry of products due to overstocking, unavailability of medical commodities at health facilities during emergencies and products not getting to remote areas, will all be minimised when Zipline’s facilities commence operations,” he said.

Earlier in February 2021, the Kaduna State Government and Zipline Technologies signed MoU to revolutionalise the supply of medical consumables to health facilities and the response of medical personnel to emergencies.

Through the MoU, Kaduna State Government promised that Zipline apart from reducing fatalities and expanding access to routine and emergency supply of medical consumables will also create jobs for indigenes of the State.

“A lot of people from the community will be employed by Zipline. The company will only look outside where there is no available manpower within the community,” the governor said.

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