Zipline, an American company, has began flying blood products to health facilities in Kaduna.
Zipline International Inc. is an American company that designs, manufactures, and operates delivery drones.
This is contained in a statement issued by the company on Monday.
It said that as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility they have decided to commence the delivery of processed blood products for the first time to health facilities in the state to save lives.
Zipline said that since August 2022, it had been delivering medical products to several health facilities within Kaduna as part of their partnership with the state government.
It noted that health officials said the timely delivery of their products had largely improved healthcare delivery as cases of referral of patients on the ground of non-availability of medicines have really reduced.
The General Manager of Zipline, Ms Catherine Odiase said: ” the company is committed to ensuring that all patients, no matter their locations, are reached timely with the essential medicines when they need them the most.
“We have been very deliberate in ensuring that we are able to reach as many health facilities as possible that need our services.
“Although we have commenced delivery of medicines in three states in Nigeria, this is our first blood delivery.
“We embarked on a blood drive that yielded 30-units, some of which have been processed and delivered to our distribution center for emergency deliveries to health facilities,” she said.
Also, Dr Sarah Ibrahim, a Medical Director at the Kauru said that with drone delivery they had witnessed an important moment that showcased the immense power of technology in advancing healthcare.
She noted that Zipline’s successful drone delivery of blood to their hospital not only saved precious time but also highlighted the transformative potential of innovative solutions.
Ibrahim added that the innovative delivery model of Zipline highlighted the capacity in addressing healthcare gaps across the country.
According to her, Nigeria’s vast geographic areas and large population have posed challenges in providing timely access to medical supplies to remote communities.
Ibrahim said that Zipline aimed to address this by ensuring that critical supplies reach those in need, regardless of their location.
Kwasu Kanchok, the Community Lead of Zipline in Kaduna State, said that the historic blood delivery by the company in Nigeria served as a testament to the power of innovation in transforming healthcare systems.
The community lead said that with each successful delivery, lives were saved and communities gained access to critical medical supplies.
“This milestone paves the way for a future where drones play a vital role in addressing healthcare challenges and ensuring that no one is left behind, “Kanchok said.
Our correspondent reports that Zipline currently has operations in Kaduna, Bayelsa and Cross River.
The company has delivered a total of 800,000 doses of vaccines for routine immunisation and 1,500,000 units of essential medicines from the Pambegua distribution center (Kaduna) since August 2022.