Policy think-tank IMANI Africa has described the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare as a confused man who has lost touch with arguments being adduced by the think-tank on why Ghana does not require the use of drones for medical supplies at this time.
In what it described as a first batch of its response to Dr. Nsiah Asare who berated them for lacking an understanding on the drones medical supply deal, the think-tank say it is coming up with 6 batches of 5 points each, of its response to the Ghana Health Service Director General.
Read below, the first batch of their response.
We have just been sent a clip of the popular Joy FM primetime morning show, Newsfile, in which Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare is heard discrediting IMANI’s positions on the Zipline drone program.
The gentleman seems completely at sea with the thrust of our arguments. To cure his confusion, we have summarised our detailed analysis in this brief note. He should do well to read carefully this time around. We serialise our response in 6 batches of 5 points per batch.
- IMANI’s position is that the drone program should be piloted at a budget not exceeding $100,000 over a period of 6 months in one of the very few areas of Ghana where an emergency drone service can be justified on social welfare and public finance grounds. Such a location is the area around Saboba, Kpalba and Wapuli in the Northern region, where the topography, health demographics, and infrastructure situation warrants such an investment. During the rainy season, these communities are cut off from Yendi, their only vital link to the national health supply chain.
- After 6 months of piloting, a detailed evaluation report by independent researchers should guide any further investments and scale up.
- The $100,000 budget implies costs of 10 deliveries a day and a $45,000 overhead. Either Zipline or another service provider can operate this pilot, though for obvious reasons Zipline’s enthusiasm and clear political support give it advantages.
- It is noteworthy that after 2 years of implementation in Rwanda, the average daily delivery rate has been less than 10 drone deliveries per day, clearly showing that even in Rwanda, which is held up as the standard for this service by Dr. Nsiah-Asare, this program is being used for a very narrow set of interventions. The plan in Ghana to start with 600 deliveries (maximum capacity) a day within the life of the first contract is RIDICULOUS and must be revised.
- We point to the case of Tanzania, which after nearly 2 years of due diligence on this drone program decided to start with a small pilot program directed by its own Ministry of Health in the Lake Victoria program to establish proof of concept before making the decision whether to sign on to the Zipline offering (we know for a fact that they have complained incessantly about cost).
NB: Wait for the next batch of 5 points.