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Ministry of Health Advises Against Misuse of Medical Drones

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The Ministry of Health has cautioned health facilities and managers against misusing medical drones in Ghana. The Ministry has reminded managers that the drones are meant for only emergency cases, warning that requests for items not meant for emergency medications, such as antibiotics, via drones will not be granted.

Speaking at a three-day meeting of senior managers of the health ministry in Kumasi, the sector minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, expressed concerns over the misuse of the drones. He added that the huge cost associated with flying medical supplies was not prudent, hence, requests must not contravene requirements as contained in the usage of medical drones.

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The meeting was themed “Enhancing primary healthcare approaches towards achieving universal health coverage” and took stock of the Ghana Health Service’s (GHS) performance in 2022. Senior officers of the service drawn from the 16 regions, including key partners and sponsors, attended the event.

In 2018, Parliament approved a plan to use medical drones to deliver blood, drugs, vaccines and other critical health supplies to remote areas in the country. Zipline, a US-based company, has been delivering life-saving medical supplies to needy communities in Ghana since then.

Despite some challenges, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the GHS, said there were improvements in some health indicators during the year under review. He stated that institutional maternal mortality rates reduced significantly, and the GHS exceeded its target in the percentage of women seeking maternal care. Additionally, half a million people were put on long-term family planning methods, and there was an improvement in children under five years receiving vitamin A and the number of babies benefiting from early breastfeeding initiation.

It is essential to use the medical drones as per their intended purpose to ensure their effectiveness in saving lives in remote areas.

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