The Cross River Government is set to deploy digital medical drones to hard to reach areas of the state to supply drugs and other medical essentials.
To this effect, the government is partnering a drone delivery company, Zipline.
Speaking on Monday during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the company officials in Calabar, Gov. Ben Ayade said that Cross River was playing a special role in the health sector.
Ayade said: “In 90 days, we will start the delivery of essential drugs to hard to reach areas facilitated by drone delivery systems”.
The governor assured the company of the necessary support to carry out their assignment in the state.
“I want to thank the entire team for your commitment to this course and we are here to provide you all the necessary support to see that you start on a strong footing,” he said.
He said that the company would be a major stakeholder in quality healthcare delivery in the state, especially when the state owned pharmaceutical company, Calapharm, starts running.
“When our pharmaceutical company starts running, it will be a major producer of most of these drugs and we believe that its expertise will really be needed around that area since their delivery time is just about 30 minutes.
“We need to have them across the three Senatorial Districts to guarantee that from point of dispatch to point of delivery, we should be able to do 30 minutes per package,” Ayade said.
Responding, Zipline’s Senior Vice President, Mr Daniel Marfo, commended Ayade’s strides in the health sector and pledged his company’s commitment to sustaining the tempo.
“We are most pleased with your dynamic vision of ensuring that Cross River surpasses the tradition and the norms and by taking a step to the future,” he said.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, described the drone delivery system as a game changer.
Edu said the drones would ensure that medical supplies, drugs, vaccines could be delivered to health centres in real time and in the shortest possible time so that people could get help when they needed it the most. (NAN)