By Samwel Doe Ouma@samweldoe
The global leader in instant logistics, Zipline, and Kisumu County, a member of the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) have, today, executed an agreement that will leverage Zipline’s industry-leading warehousing facility and autonomous aircraft technology for the storage and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, blood products and other medical commodities to health facilities within the Kisumu County.
The agreement specifies the establishment and operation of a Zipline distribution hub in Kisumu County that will act as the base of operations for the Zipline uncrewed aerial system (UAS) and the Zipline services capable of serving health projects and facilities across 16 counties in western Kenya.
The Governor of Kisumu County, H.E. Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, said, “We have made some significant efforts in improving the overall healthcare delivery of our people. It is heartwarming to note, therefore, that our mission of achieving universal health coverage is on course with this historic partnership which will ensure that no one is left behind as a result of their location”.
Commenting on the partnership, the Chairman of LREB and County Governor of Kakamega said, “it is our commitment as LREB to deliver an aggressive agenda of building a robust health delivery system that will not only serve a few but the vast majority of people within LREB Counties. Zipline’s technology is one we can resort to in accelerating the transformation of our health systems to provide timely healthcare solutions to the people on whose mandate we serve”.
On his part, the CEC of Health, Dr. Gregory Ganda said, “I am happy to note that this is one step towards reducing operational inefficiencies that inhibit access to universal healthcare in our country and region”.
“We’ve seen how automated, on-demand delivery can transform healthcare systems to make them more efficient, effective and equitable,” said Keller Rinaudo, co-founder and CEO of Zipline. “Zipline’s expansion into Kenya, our seventh country, in partnership with Kisumu County, is a pivotal step forward to expand these important benefits to more communities around the world.”
The Snr. Vice President for Zipline Africa, Mr Daniel Marfo, also assured that Zipline will expedite the distribution hub construction process to ensure that access to healthcare for life-threatening illnesses and vaccines is achieved rapidly. “This Zipline and Kisumu County partnership is a powerful collaboration that will solidify transformational logistics medical delivery in Western Kenya and put Kenya on the forefront of health excellence”, he said.
Following the start of Zipline’s UAS delivery operations from its distribution hub in Kisumu County, the parties will collaborate in a project operations phase, in accordance with standard operating procedure and terms of service with the objective of providing medical commodities including COVID-19 vaccines doses to health facilities within the operational area.
Zipline’s footprint in Africa has seen it establish business partnerships in Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and now Kenya where it seeks to carry an industrious technology-driven transformation in the health sectors.