The Cross River government is set to deploy drones to hard-to-reach areas of the state to supply drugs and other medical essentials.
Speaking on Monday during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the company in Calabar, Governor Ben Ayade said: “In 90 days, we will start the delivery of essential drugs to hard-to-reach areas facilitated by drone delivery systems.”
The government who said it was partnering with a drone delivery company, Zipline, for the project, assured the company of the necessary support to carry out their assignment in the state.
He explained that the company would be a major stakeholder in quality healthcare delivery in the state, when the state-owned pharmaceutical company, Calapharm, starts running.
“When our pharmaceutical company starts running, it will be a major producer of most of these drugs and we believe that its expertise will really be needed around that area since their delivery time is just about 30 minutes.
“We need to have them across the three Senatorial Districts to guarantee that from point of dispatch to point of delivery, we should be able to do 30 minutes per package,” Mr Ayade added.
Responding, Zipline’s Senior Vice President, Daniel Marfo, commended Mr Ayade’s strides in the health sector and pledged his company’s commitment to sustaining the tempo.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Betta Edu, described the drone delivery system as a game-changer.
Ms Edu said the drones would ensure that medical supplies, drugs, vaccines could be delivered to health centres in the shortest possible time so that people could get help when they needed it the most.