Nigeria’s restless northwest tests drone medical deliveries


A US technology company that delivers medical products by drone said it made its first flights in Nigeria on Friday, in the violence-hit northwest state of Kaduna.

Access to health care in parts of Africa’s most populous nation is limited by the presence of jihadist groups and criminal gangs, preventing many people from getting the care they need.

“Today’s flights are an important step in ensuring that people in Kaduna state have access to the care they need, precisely when and where they need it,” said Amina Mohammed Baloni, the most senior state health official.

The flights will deliver more than 200 different medical products across the state, according to a statement from the company Zipline, during a test before final approval by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

Zipline said it aims by the end of the month “to operate three fulfillment centers across the state, covering an area of ​​46,000 square kilometers (17,760 square miles) and delivering to approximately 500 healthcare facilities. serving millions of people”.

Operations in other Nigerian states are planned later this year, he added, without giving further details.

Founded in 2014 in California, the company designs, manufactures and operates an automated delivery system for medical products.

Fueled by growing needs during the coronavirus pandemic, Zipline raised $250 million in June last year to expand operations.

Zipline deliveries, including of Covid-19 vaccines, have taken place in Ghana, Rwanda, the United States and Japan.

U.S. drone company Zipline begins delivering drugs to Japan

© 2022 AFP

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