Cross River State Partners With Zipline To Distribute Medical Supplies Statewide With Drone Delivery Service —-The Cross River State today announced a partnership with Zipline, the world’s first and only national-scale drone delivery service, for on-demand delivery of medical supplies, including thousands of vaccines, medications and blood products, to health facilities across the state.
Zipline plans to initially build two distribution centers to facilitate deliveries to more than 1,000 health facilities that serve millions of people across the state. These distribution centers will support the delivery of medical supplies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Construction of the first distribution center is expected to begin immediately and completed within six months from the start date.
The partnership was made possible by the great foresight and collaboration of Governor of Cross River state H.E. Prof. Benedict Ayade, the Dr. Betta Edu, Honorable Commissioner for Health, and Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, the Director General of the Primary Healthcare Agency and other stakeholders like Dr Linda Ayade (Medical Practitioner and Wife of Governor). Together, Zipline and Cross River State aim to significantly improve the health delivery system of the state and increase access to health care for communities across the state, even in remote areas.
“Healthcare is one of our top priorities, and we are committed to creating a functional system in which no one is left behind”, said H.E. Prof. Ben Ayade. “Zipline is a key, innovative part of our investment in our health systems. Their delivery service will help us to remove access barriers to health care and create a more equitable and efficient Health system across the state.”
“The focus of this partnership is to ensure that all barriers hindering the successful delivery of medical commodities to our people is removed. This is one of the many forward-thinking interventions we are implementing to consolidate the gains we have made within the health care system”.
On her side, Dr. Edu said, “This agreement is an important milestone for us at Cross River State as we strengthen our health system with emphasis on Primary Health care to enable us achieve universal Health coverage. We anticipate that this revolutionary technology will improve access and even distribution of medical commodities to remote and hard-to-reach areas, which has only become more urgent with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are on a mission to transform health care systems around the world, and we’re thrilled to partner with Cross River State as they invest in innovation to improve the health of their people,” said Daniel Marfo, Senior Vice President of Africa at Zipline. “Our partnership is not just about delivering medical supplies. We are working together to reimagine how health systems work, how to best deliver care to patients, and increase access for all people by designing a better system.”
Zipline will support all health facilities with emergency response capabilities, as well as routine and stockout-response deliveries of medicines, vaccines, and blood. Zipline will also serve as the sole supplier for some health facilities in remote regions in Cross River State, creating a more efficient delivery service.
The partnership between Cross River State and Zipline will lead to the creation of several healthcare and engineering jobs for indigenes of Cross River State. The partnership will also lead to knowledge transfer in the area of drone technology.
How Zipline Works
Each week, a single Zipline distribution center – a combination of medical fulfillment warehouse and drone airport – is capable of the on-demand delivery of more than two tons of temperature-controlled medicine to any point across an almost 8,000 square mile service area. Each aircraft can fly 100 miles round trip, in strong winds and rain, day or night, to make on-demand deliveries in 30 to 45 minutes on average. Zipline’s drones have flown more than 5 million autonomous miles to deliver more than 1.5 million doses of vaccines, units of blood, and critical and life-saving medications to more than a thousand health facilities serving more than 25 million people across three countries. In the United States, Zipline has partnered with a leading healthcare system, Novant Health, on the country’s first drone logistics operation by a hospital system for pandemic response. To date, Novant Health has utilized Zipline to make contactless drone distribution of more than 18,000 units of PPE to frontline medical teams around Charlotte, North Carolina. Zipline recently announced that it will soon launch medical delivery services in Kaduna State in Nigeria as its footprint grows across Africa. Zipline is supporting the Government of Ghana and Rwanda to use its existing and planned distribution capacity to distribute the COVID-19 vaccines and other medical components. Similar support systems will be incorporated into the Cross River State projects when completed.
Zipline is the world’s only national-scale, instant drone delivery service. Its mission is to provide every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies. Zipline designs, assembles, and operates its unmanned aircraft system in the United States and is progressing towards FAA type certification of its drones and air carrier certification for its US operations. The most respected investors in the world support Zipline, including Temasek, Baillie Gifford, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, GV, The Rise Fund, a global impact fund managed by TPG, Katalyst Ventures, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, and Stanford University.