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Kaduna partners Zipline on drone delivery of medical supplies

Kaduna partners Zipline on drone delivery of medical supplies
February 03
18:31 2021

The Kaduna government has signed an agreement with Zipline, an American drone delivery company, on the distribution of medical supplies across the state.

In a statement on Wednesday, the state government said the drones would be used for on-demand delivery of vaccines, blood products, and life-saving medication.

According to Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, the partnership will ensure that millions of people in Kaduna get the care they need.

The statement also noted that the service would run for 24 hours every day, and would operate from three distribution centres, which would each be equipped with 30 drones.

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“Together, all three distribution centres will be capable of micro-targeting the delivery of more than six tons of medical products each week over more than 60,000 square kilometres,” the statement reads.

“The revolutionary new service, which is expected to launch operations in the second quarter of 2021, is part of the government of Kaduna state’s bold vision of using drone delivery to establish universal, seven-days-a-week access to lifesaving and critical medicines for most of its more than eight million citizens over the coming years.

“In addition to expanding access to routine and emergency medical deliveries, the new drone delivery service will also expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly for rural and hard to reach populations.

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“Zipline has built an end-to-end, cold chain distribution capability that allows it to safely deliver frozen and ultra-low COVID-19 vaccines and medical products.

“This will allow health facilities in Kaduna state to bypass the need for ultra-low freezers—which are required to transport, store and distribute the Pfizer vaccine—by receiving on-demand deliveries of the precise amount of COVID-19 vaccines they require at any time, safely and compliantly within the required temperature profile.”

El-Rufai added that the state had also upgraded 255 primary centres to improve access to health services.

Speaking on the development, Keller Rinaudo, chief executive officer of Zipline, said the partnership would provide better access to quality healthcare for Kaduna residents.

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“Our work together will help transform the quality of care for millions and help make Nigeria a world leader in using technology to expand universal healthcare access,” he added.

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