A Zipline drone carrying the Corona vaccine
A Zipline drone carrying the Corona vaccine

The Ghanaian government has contacted the US company Zipline to deliver coronavirus vaccines to West African countries via autonomous drones.

When the company shipped its first vaccines to Africa under the COVAX program, the drug found its way to remote areas of Ghana that lacked traditional logistics.

Zipline started its blood transfusion and pharmaceutical business in Rwanda in 2016. Thereafter, the company expanded its business to include Ghana in 2019.

In May 2020, the company shipped medical supplies and personal protective equipment to North Carolina, USA.

Zipline has four distribution centers in Ghana, each of which is an airport for drones and part of a medical warehouse, and houses 30 fixed-wing drones and medical supplies.

The plane flies to the destination independently, the parcel is unloaded by parachute and returned to the airport.

Zipline said: Each distribution center can deliver goods in an area of ​​22,500 square kilometers.

As of 2019, the company has sent more than 50,000 shipments to Ghana, including more than 1 million vaccines, and it says its services can cover 12 million people - just a third of the country's total population.

In addition to being used in makeshift mobile clinics that distribute coronavirus vaccines in remote areas of the country, drones can also be transported to hospitals.

This outbreak has demonstrated the benefits of zipline technology, especially when drones require minimal human-computer interaction.

The company said many traditional models have collapsed during the influenza pandemic. In the first two to three weeks after the shutdown, the number of vaccines passing through our system increased tenfold.

The speed of delivery by drones allows us to meet the challenges posed by cold chain logistics.

You don't have to worry about air traffic delays, drones fly at 100 kilometers per hour and it only takes 30-40 minutes to complete each delivery.

Zipline received its first batch of the vaccine earlier this month, shipping 36 items and dispensing 4,500 doses in one day.

Zipline has announced plans to distribute around 2.5 million cans in Ghana over the next 12 months.

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