Zipline moves into Cote d’Ivoire

It seems American drone logistics company Zipline’s little medical Zips are leaving quite a solid footprint on the healthcare systems of many African countries.

It has been exactly five years since Zipline first made a successful delivery in Rwanda. They have expanded into Ghana and Nigeria since then.

And now it has been announced that they will be moving into the Ivory Coast too.

The country’s Ministry of Health, Public Hygiene and Universal Health Coverage announced last week that it had entered a partnership with the medical drone logistics company, for the delivery of medical supplies, including thousands of vaccines, medicines and blood products, to health facilities across Cote d’Ivoire.

In the deal, Zipline will facilitate access to medical products by setting up an efficient delivery system for more than 1,000 locations across the country.

The company will build and operate four distribution hubs from which blood, vaccine and other medical products will be stored and distributed to more than 1,000 healthcare facilities in the country.

From the hubs, the Zips will operate on a radius of 80 kilometres and as of today, they have made a total of well over 15million kilometres worldwide, delivering more than 5 million doses of vaccines, blood units and essential medicines to thousands of health facilities; and serving more than 25 million people on three continents.

Most of these people are in Africa.

In Cote d’Ivoire, the first distribution centre is expected to be completed and operational before the end of next year.

The health ministry said it chose to work with Zipline as part of its plans to achieve universal health coverage by ensuring equitable access to blood products, vaccines and medical products, especially in rural areas.

“Achieving universal health coverage is one of the ministry’s priorities and we believe this bold decision to partner with Zipline is a sure way to achieve this,” said Minister of Health, Public Hygiene and Universal Health Coverage Pierre N’Gou Dimba. “We have assessed Zipline’s capacity, their operations in other African countries with similar needs to ours, and we truly believe that this partnership will help us remove barriers to accessing healthcare and creating a more equitable and efficient healthcare system across the country.”

Israel Bimpe, Zipline’s Africa Go-To-Market Division Director, expressed hope that Zipline technology will significantly improve Cote d’Ivoire’s healthcare delivery system.

“Our revolutionary instant logistics technology, which is being deployed worldwide, will greatly improve access to and even the distribution of medical products in remote and hard-to-reach areas,” Bimpe said. “It is for this reason that we are excited about this partnership which, on the whole, will improve the lives of our citizens, leaving no one behind in terms of access to medical products.”

Zipline will support all healthcare facilities with emergency response capabilities, as well as routine deliveries and supplies of medicines, vaccines and blood. 

Zipline will also be the sole supplier of certain healthcare facilities in remote areas of the country, according to the health ministry’s statement.

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