The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has rejected claims in a section of the media that he has threatened to halt the operations of Zipline Medical Delivery Service in Ghana.
After a Ghana Health Service Management Meeting on Tuesday, April 18, there were reports that the Health Minister slammed the operations of the drone delivery service and threatened to reach out to his bosses to halt the operations because it is being abused.
However, a press statement issued by the Ministry of Health on Thursday, April 20 rejected the media reports, saying the Minister rather commended the operations though he raised some concerns.
“At the same ceremony, the Minister expressed the view that the services of Zipline, where drones are used to deliver medical commodities to health facilitiesm are saving lives every day and stakeholders should endeavour to use the services judiciously for the purpose of sustainability,” the statement said.
The statement continued that, rather, “the minister bemoaned the practice where some health facilities just place orders for Zipline services not in times when the service is most needed”.
It added: “Due to the unpredicted nature of emerging technologies like Zipline, it will be in the Ministry’s and its agencies’ best interests to periodically review the guidelines around its operations to ensure alignment with government policies.”
The statement assured that the “Ministry remains committed to the operations of Zipline in the provision of essential healthcare services and will keep exploring all available means to make this sustainable”.
In the statement, the Minister also described as misleading, reports that claimed he said the National Health Insurance Scheme is not working.
Ghana’s medical drone delivery service has been hailed as the largest in the world, and it has attracted international plaudits.
During her recent visit to Ghana, United States Vice President Kamala Harris commended Ghana for being a global example in the delivery of essential medical supplies through drones to remote areas.