Thursday, 15 April

Zipline, UPS partner with Ghana gov’t to deliver first COVID-19 vaccines to health posts

Health News
● Zipline’s drone logistics network will provide on-demand, last-mile delivery of Covid-19 vaccines doses, supporting equitable access even in remote and hard-to-reach areas

The world’s first and only national-scale drone delivery service, Zipline, has announced a successful collaboration with UPS and The UPS Foundation to assist the government of Ghana in delivering COVID-19 vaccines across the country. 

Supported by the coordination of UPS Healthcare with vaccine manufacturers, UPS deliveries of initial vaccines arrived this week in Ghana from the COVAX Facility and transportation will begin swiftly within the country. 

The UPS Foundation mobilized its distribution network to receive the vaccines from the Kotoka International Airport to the National Cold Room operated by the Expanded Programme for Immunisation of the Ghana Health Service. 

UPS will next support the distribution of the bulk vaccine cargo to regional cold rooms and Zipline distribution centres in Omenako, Mpanya, Vobsi and Sefwi Wiawso. 

As part of the government’s planned vaccination rollout, Zipline will then provide on-demand delivery of doses directly to health facilities. On-demand delivery of vaccines will allow the Government of Ghana to increase access to the vaccine to rural areas lacking cold chain storage and will minimize wastage, as doses can be sent as needed, arriving in as little as 15-30 minutes. 

“The UPS Foundation is committed to support the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the globe”, said Nicole Clifton, President of the UPS Foundation. “UPS is pleased to partner with Zipline and the Government of Ghana to advance health and wellbeing for the Ghanaian community. This is a moment like no other and it demands the expertise that UPS has developed in Healthcare Logistics. We are moving the world forward by delivering what matters and UPS is proud to be a key player in the global public-private partnerships helping to distribute vaccines to the world.” 

The government of Ghana integrated Zipline’s medical drone delivery service into its health supply chain in April 2019 with support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UPS Foundation and other partners. Zipline enables instant access to hundreds of health commodities for thousands of health facilities across the country. Zipline’s current network in Ghana can reach up to half the population and is slated to expand to the entire country later this year. 

The General Manager of Zipline Ghana, Naa Adorkor Yawson, said: “Zipline is honoured to be a key partner of the Ministry of Health in the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines. Our services enable equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine to all Ghanaians, even in areas that do not have cold chain equipment. On-demand delivery service also prevents waste and spoilage of the vaccines by only sending the exact amount required by each facility at any given time. Zipline has the capacity to deliver vaccines, even those that require ultra-low temperatures, to the over 1,000 health facilities that we currently serve.” 

“With supply limited for the foreseeable future, COVID-19 vaccines are arguably the world’s most precious commodity this year,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “With every dose being so important, it is critical to ensure that our partner countries have the necessary support and tools to deliver vaccines effectively and efficiently to those who need them. This new support builds on the long-standing partnership between Gavi and the UPS Foundation, which is focused on ensuring that every child in Gavi-supported countries receives lifesaving vaccines.”  

The Ghana Health Service, UPS Healthcare and Zipline will collaborate to ensure the safe handling and delivery of the vaccines within the delivery schedule. The Ghana Health Service will deploy their delivery vans, with UPS doing the same to ensure swift delivery while Zipline receives the vaccines and delivers via drones to hard-to-reach areas within their operational areas. 

On 23 February, COVAX shipped 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/ Oxford vaccine, from the Serum Institute of India (SII) from Pune, India to Accra, Ghana, arriving on the morning of 24 February.  The arrival in Accra is the first batch shipped and delivered in Africa by the COVAX Facility as part of an unprecedented effort to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021. COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF as well as the World Bank, civil society organisations, manufacturers, and others. 

HOW ZIPLINE WORKS 

Each week, a single Zipline distribution center—a combination medical fulfillment warehouse and drone airport—is capable of the micro-targeted delivery of more than two tons of temperature-controlled medicine to any point across an almost 8,000 square mile service area. Each aircraft can fly 100 miles round trip, in strong winds and rain, day or night, to make on-demand deliveries in 30 to 45 minutes on average. Zipline’s drones have flown more than 5 million autonomous miles to deliver more than 1.5 million doses of vaccines, units of blood, and critical and life-saving medications to more than a thousand health facilities serving more than 25 million people across three countries. Zipline recently announced that it will soon launch medical delivery services in Kaduna State in Nigeria as its footprint grows across Africa. Zipline is preparing to use its existing and planned distribution capacity in Rwanda, Nigeria and the United States to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The UPS Foundation

Since its founding in 1907, UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen, supporting programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs. Founded in 1951, The UPS Foundation leads its global citizenship programs and is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national, and global communities. In 2020, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $122.3 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS Foundation can be found on the web at UPS.com/Foundation and @UPS Foundation on Twitter. UPS’s Humanitarian Relief & Resilience Program invested nearly $6.3 million and made 2,700 in-kind shipments across 115 countries in 2020. 

UPS Healthcare                                                                                                                                 

UPS Healthcare has more than 10 million square feet of cGMP- or cGDP-compliant healthcare distribution space globally. UPS Healthcare services include: inventory management, temperature-controlled packaging and shipping, storage and fulfillment of medical devices, labs and clinical trial logistics. UPS Healthcare’s global infrastructure, its newest UPS Premier visibility service, its track and trace technology, and its global quality system are well-suited to meet today’s complex logistics demands for the pharmaceutical, medical device and laboratory diagnostic industries.

Zipline

Zipline is the world’s only national-scale, instant drone delivery service. Its mission is to provide every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies. Zipline’s drones have flown more than 4 million miles in multiple countries, delivered close to 400,000 medical products, and helped health care providers to save thousands of lives. Zipline designs, assembles, and operates its unmanned aircraft system in the United States and is progressing towards FAA type certification of its drones and air carrier certification for its US operations. The most respected investors in the world support Zipline, including Temasek, Baillie Gifford, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, GV, The Rise Fund, a global impact fund managed by TPG, Katalyst Ventures, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, and Stanford University.

 

 

Source: ClassFMonline.com