Zipline, the global leader in instant logistics, has commenced commercial deliveries of medical commodities via unmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise called drones, to health facilities within Kaduna state.
Initial deliveries have been successfully made to Galadimawa HC, Kauru local government area among other facilities. The health facilities are among several medical centres in Kaduna earmarked to be rolled onto Zipline’s logistics platform for the speedy dispensing of healthcare.
The distribution centre, located in Pambegua, Kaduna state, is the first hub to be opened in Nigeria to support the government’s effort to send medical logistics to health facilities within the state.
Speaking after the scheduled delivery of vaccines to the facility, Chongfilawos Irimiya, a medical staff at Galadimawa PHC, said, “We thank God for Zipline. We are in the bush and cut off. We used to go very far to the Apex centres to get our vaccines, which is very stressful and uncomfortable, but with Zipline, all that is in the past”.
Since Zipline commissioned the distribution hub in June 2022, it has been working with the aviation regulatory authority to finalise the required approvals to operate these autonomous aerial vehicles in Kaduna. The successfully completion of the approval processes paved the way for the start of commercial flights.
The first of three distribution hubs of Zipline to be sited in Kaduna has the capacity of delivering medical supplies to over 500 health facilities within an 80km radius at a speed of 110km/hr rain/shine: day/night. Zipline also has the capacity to deliver other products including animal health vaccines and e-commerce products.
In February 2021, Zipline announced plans to construct three distribution centres in Kaduna state, supported by the federal government. The state’s intent is to use Zipline’s service to transport health products, including blood, medication, and routine vaccines.
In May 2021, Zipline announced a similar agreement with Cross River state, followed by the announcement of another agreement with Bayelsa State.
In a conversation with the general manager of Zipline Nigeria, Ms. Catherine N. Odiase, she commended the regulatory authorities for the fruitful engagements leading to the commencement of flight operations, adding that “ the company is pleased to have received the necessary regulatory approval to be able to support the health needs of the community”.
She added that “our technology has proven to be a great resource in helping governments achieve access to universal healthcare. By this, we remain committed to ensuring that we support the government of Kaduna in meeting this target by way of efficient delivery of medical commodities and other products as will be agreed, to all parts of the state within 40minutes or less from our distribution hub”.