• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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US agency in pact with Zipline to expand healthcare access in West Africa

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The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to Zipline, a global instant logistics service company, to carry out a feasibility study that would enable the expansion of healthcare access in Ghana and Nigeria using unmanned aerial vehicles.

The feasibility study will allow Zipline to assess the viability of expanding its healthcare logistics services into new geographic areas and developing new business models to build on its existing delivery systems.

“Increasing access to healthcare is critical for West Africa. Our partnership with Zipline demonstrates the role that non-traditional models of healthcare access can play in addressing this need,” said Enoh Ebong, director of USTDA.

According to Ebong, the agency’s support for the project reflects the holistic approach it’s taking to develop healthcare infrastructure and the important role private sector companies can play in offering meaningful solutions.

During the grant signing ceremony in Accra, an event that was hosted by the United States embassy, Virginia Palmer, the US Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana, said the partnership underscores the US government’s resolve to increase bilateral trade and investment.

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“The United States is committed to a strong partnership with Ghana that will grow the economies while improving and even saving people’s lives. This project serves as an example of our whole-of-government approach, where USTDA will work closely with the US Departments of Commerce and State, and USAID to reach the important milestone with Zipline,” Palmer said.

On his part, Daniel Marfo, senior vice president of Zipline, said his company has transformed the logistics and medical systems in the countries where it operates using drone technology.

The services of Zipline, he said, have also helped to save lives, and reduce negative environmental impact on the planet.

“This grant from USTDA will enable a feasibility study to assess the impact of expanding Zipline’s operations in Nigeria and Ghana so that we can help more communities and healthcare systems have access to critical items when they need them,” he added.

The project will also help to advance the primary pillar of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, which aims to strengthen global health security.

In addition, Zipline’s project is expected to increase access to e-commerce, postal, and agricultural products, and services in hard-to-reach areas, helping to stimulate local economies and reducing costs and time to access goods and services.