Bayelsa govt adopts drone services for delivery of medical supplies to hospitals

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Nursing mothers, stakeholders, and medical experts in Bayelsa State have praised the effectiveness of the drone services used by the state government to deliver medications and other medical supplies to hospitals throughout the region.

In separate interviews, they stated their perspectives to reporters who had visited certain medical institutions in the state’s local government districts of Yenagoa and Ogbia.

The state government and Zipline, a logistics delivery company, partnered in 2022 to improve cold-chain drug preservation and increase the state’s transfer of vital medical supplies to outlying health facilities.

Reports revealed that the program had enabled the delivery of 537,000 vaccination doses and more than 13,500 medical supply doses to 210 state-run healthcare facilities.

Dr. Opukumo Alexandra, Head of Clinical Services at Kolo General Hospital in the Ogbia Local Government Area, stated that the drone services were an innovative way to better meet the health requirements of people living in remote areas.

He said, “I can say it (drone) is the best technology so far. Because if you should look for any item that is not available, probably, maybe you go to the market to look for it and it’s not there, you can get it from Zipline. As you place a phone call, they fly the consumables across to you.

“Zipline has rendered so much services that we cannot over-emphasize. They respond quickly whenever you place a request.”

The adoption of the technological innovation, according to medical officer in charge of Otuokpoti Primary Health Center in Ogbia Local Government Area (Ase Adiogbogbo) and Immunization Officer at Agudama-Ekpetiama Health Center in Yenagoa Local Government Area (Dr. Agabugene Timineri), has improved the state’s health system by cutting down on the time it takes to deliver medications and other medical consumables, which were primarily delivered by road or boat.

They pointed out that the delivery of medications and medical supplies by drones facilitates timely service delivery and sufficient patient care, particularly in emergency scenarios.

Adiogbogbo said, “Just like immunization, you know this is a rural hospital. We deal mostly with nursing mothers and there has been improvement in our healthcare delivery, because before now, sometimes it takes time for the vaccine to get to us and we get out of stocks. But now, there is no shortage of drugs.”

Before the implementation of drone services, Elizabeth Akpo, a nursing mother at Otuokpoti Primary Health Centre, claimed that some of her children were unable to receive vaccinations because the clinic was always complaining about the shortage of medications due to accessibility issues.

She said, “But the situation is different now. My child gets vaccinated at any of her scheduled date. Anytime I come, they attend to me quickly and there is always injection anytime I come. No excuses again.

“That is why I’m very happy with the recent healthcare attention to me in the hospital. The immunization is very good, it makes the baby look very good. I barely experience small sickness like malaria, stooling and measles. They fly vaccines to the hospital from Yenagoa, we are very happy.”

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Alex Obichie
Alex Obichie
Alex Obichie is an Ardent Sustainability Enthusiast, advocate for the Waste-2-Wealth Initiative, and Ingenious Politician, he uses articles to promote and sensitize the public about matters surrounding the environment, political systems and ways to benefit & support sustsinable global development.

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