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Drone-delivered drugs

April 25, 2019.

Zipline drone.

© Zipline.

Zipline, the company we spoke of back in 2017, has continued its expansion in Africa, consolidating its success in vast countries with transport infrastructures not always adapted to the emergency delivery of medical products. After Rwanda and Tanzania, Zipline has now started operations in Ghana, where it has just opened the first of 4 distribution centres. Eventually, the drone delivery network will reach 2,000 hospitals and clinics serving 12 million people. The service will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making emergency deliveries of vaccines, blood products and essential medication. Together, all four distribution centres will make up to 600 on-demand delivery flights per day on behalf of the Government of Ghana. Each centre has the capacity to make up to 500 flights per day. Zipline’s new-generation drones can reach speeds of up to 125km/h with a 160km return flight autonomy, carrying up to 1.75kg of cargo (a bag of blood weighs about 0.5kg).

IEEE Spectrum, “Zipline expands medical drone-delivery service to Ghana.”