UPS Foundation gives $3m to Ghanian medical drone delivery network

The UPS Foundation and the Vaccine Alliance Gavi are working together to develop a medical drone network in Ghana.

California based Zipline has on the ground experience fun such delivery systems in Africa, and has been selected to make emergency deliveries of 148 priority products that include emergency and routine vaccines, blood products and life-saving medications. It is to operate 24/7 from four distribution centres that have more than 30 drones. They will deliver to more than 2,000 health facilities reaching 12 million people in Ghana.

The operation is supported philanthropically from the UPS Foundation and Gavi, as well as with some financial input from the Ghanian government.

“The ability of the Government to supplement routine immunization on demand will allow us to make sure that there will always be enough life-saving vaccines for every child in Ghana,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “This is an exciting development for Gavi that is ultimately going to ensure we leave no one behind and help us protect more children living in remote areas against vaccine preventable diseases,” he added.

The UPS Foundation will provide $3 million, including $2.4 million in funding and UPS will provide $600,000 of in-kind shipping services. Separately, UPS has already begun an analysis of Ghana’s healthcare supply chain, providing expertise designed to complement the government’s vision to continually optimise the delivery of healthcare products.

“The program’s ongoing success in Rwanda demonstrates that the collective effort of a public-private partnership focused on advanced supply chain technologies can enhance access to life-saving medical commodities throughout Africa,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and UPS chief diversity and inclusion officer.

“We are inspired to see technology and supply chain expertise used to help save lives and honoured to be part of this public-private collaboration. It is with deepest gratitude we acknowledge the visionary Ghana government, Gavi, for their dedication to helping improve the health of communities in Ghana and around the world, and Zipline, for their leading-edge technology and passion to advance community health systems,” he added.

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