Parliament approves controversial $12.5m Zipline contract

Parliament on Tuesday granted approval to the controversial $12.5 million Fly Zipline contract to use its drones-for-medical delivery.

The deal ratification of the contract, which had suffered three earlier shot-downs, went through a majority vote of 102 against 58 minority.

By the approval, the Government of Ghana will go ahead to pay Fly Zipline Inc $12,527,000 to distribute blood and other medical suppliers across the country with their drone equipment over a period of four years.

The deal introduced by the Ghana Health Service (GHS), which will be run by them and the Ministry of Health, is expected to give Ghana the most advanced healthcare supply chain in the West Africa sub-region.

As done in Rwanda, Ghana seeks to use a drone delivery network, which will operate 24 hours a day from 4 distribution centers across the country.

The distribution centers will stock 184 life-saving and essential medical supplies, including emergency blood and Oxycontin to save women’s lives in childbirth. Postpartum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal death.

The others include emergency medicines for surgeries, severe infections, antivenins and anti-rabies, diabetic emergencies and extremely high blood pressure emergencies.

The contract had a heated debate, as the Minority in Parliament had questioned the deal on the grounds that the cost was too high, and did not follow due process and why it should be sole-sourced.

The Public Procurement Authority last November gave clearance for the Government of Ghana to sole-source the contract to the US based company.

Source: GNA

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