Zipline delivers vaccines across health facilities in Cross River

By Funmilola Gboteku


Zipline, a drone delivery company, says it has delivered over 50,000 doses of immunisation vaccines to multiple health centres in Cross River to accelerate access to vaccine inoculations.

Zipline in a statement on Tuesday said this was done to support the state government and mark a significant milestone for healthcare delivery.

It said the accomplishment represented a big step in the state’s effort at ensuring universal access to important healthcare services in the state’s outlying locations.

Zipline’s Country Manager, Ms Catherine Odiase, said  the company was dedicated to ensuring everyone had access to healthcare anywhere in the world.

“In the world today, it is important to expand healthcare access to reach people, no matter where they live.

“Locations should no longer be a barrier to receiving medical care.

“Our partnership with the Cross River State enables us to use our innovative drones to deliver medical commodities and vaccines to health facilities within 30 minutes of placing an order,” Odiase said.

She said vaccine shortage had become a significant challenge at a number of healthcare institutions around Cross River due to limited storage facilities.

Odiase noted that this was changing, thanks to the bold decision of the state to partner with Zipline for the use of unmanned drones to access communities with critical medical products, vaccines and supplies within a reasonable time frame.

She added that vaccines including tetanus, polio, hepatitis B, yellow fever, measles, and even Covid-19 immunisations had been sent to health institutions in the state.

“So far, 150 health facilities in nine local government districts have benefitted from this game-changing technology, reaching over 50,000 infants, children, and mothers,” she said.

Esther Aju, a Routine Immunisation Focal Person at Ogoja Maternal Child Hospital, said that prior to Zipline’s involvement, delivery of essential medicines and vaccines in the area was difficult because of long travel distance.

She explained that on several occasions, patients had to be rescheduled for other immunisation days due to shortages in vaccines.

Aju said the reality was that many babies were missing their critical immunisations, leaving them vulnerable to deadly diseases.

“The thought of innocent children growing up and contracting childhood illnesses due to lack of access to vaccines terrified us as healthcare providers.

“This is one of the underlying elements that motivated the state to take urgent steps to avert the incident,” she said.

Aju explained that immunisation had been more convenient and accessible since Zipline began serving the facility.

According to her, they now get immunisations within five to ten minutes after placing orders.



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