COVID-19 vaccines: Kaduna, Sterling Bank partner on drone’s delivery

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Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna

The Kaduna State Government and Sterling Bank health technology partner, Zipline, an America firm, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the world’s first medical drone delivery service to convey routine and emergency medicine to the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.

This includes the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines to all parts of the state.

The State Governor, Malam Nasir  El-Rufai signed the MoU on behalf of the state, while Daniel Marfo, Senior Vice President, Africa – Zipline and Mr Obinna Ukachukwu, Division Head, Health & Education Sterling Bank Plc, signed on behalf of the bank.

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A statement on Wednesday said El-Rufai, speaking during the signing of the MoU at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna on Wednesday, said the revolutionary new service would  use drones to make on-demand deliveries of hundreds of different vaccines, blood products, and life-saving medications.

El-Rufai said, “The service will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from three distribution centers—each equipped with 30 drones—and deliver to more than 1,000 health facilities serving millions of people across Kaduna State.

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“Together, all three distribution centres will be capable of micro-targeting the delivery of more than six tons of medical products each week over more than 60,000 square kilometres.

“The revolutionary new service, which is expected to launch operations in the second quarter of 2021, is part of the government of Kaduna state’s bold vision of using drone delivery to establish universal, seven-days-a-week access to lifesaving and critical medicines for most of its more than eight million citizens over the coming years.”

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