The facility, one of three to be built, is situated at Ndok community within the Ogoja LGA in Cross River State.
The facility, resulting from a partnership between Zipline and the government of the Cross River State is similar to that which was recently commissioned in Kaduna State to ensure logistics and medical supplies like vaccines, blood, and pharmaceuticals reach communities within shorter periods compared with the existing means of deliveries.
At the commissioning of the facility, the Governor of the Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade, said it has become necessary to attain health coverage for all; the reason why the State Government is leveraging Zipline’s innovative technologies to enable equity in medical care, especially for low-income earners.
Prof. Ayade noted that the operation of the Ndok facility would serve as a storage and fulfilment hub for vaccines and other medical essentials, serving as the key supplier of medical commodities making deliveries to over 300 health facilities in Obaliko, Obudu, Obura and other surrounding towns and villages.
“Let me, on behalf of the entire people of Cross River State, thank you for bringing this intervention to our State. Your technology is an innovation that has come to save lives, and as a state, we'll continue to work assiduously to make sure the company strives. The lives of our people are now in good hands because of what I've seen here today. I can confidently say that we're very close to achieving universal health coverage. Be assured of maximum security, a peaceful working environment and a continuous synergy even with the next administration," Prof Ayade said.
Prof. Ayade, added that "the facility is expected to deliver medical supplies reliably anywhere across the state because the drones can geolocate with 99.9% precision making it possible to complete travel autonomously".
He further assured the people that the presence of Zipline would bring a drop in mortality rate and reduce health complications resulting from snake bites, child diseases and malaria.
The distribution centre is the first of three centres scheduled to be built in the state and will serve as the key supplier of medical commodities to several health facilities in the State for the speedy dispensing of medical care. Since operations began in Kaduna State in August 2022, Zipline has made successful deliveries to several health facilities, saving several lives.
In her remarks, Madam Catherine Odiase, Zipline General Manager, said, "One of the unique features of Zipline operations is the capacity of the drone technology to deliver medical supplies under any weather conditions instantly. Suppose a child in an area like Bekwarra needs medical attention, but the health facility lacks the required medical product, the facility can contact Zipline, and delivery would be made to save that child's life within minutes “.
She emphasised that "Zipline’s technology is simple, reliable, and fast technology and will help reduce the mortality rate in the state and provide quality health care services for all persons".
Zipline, the global leader in instant logistics deliveries, has become a household name for immediate transport of medical logistics, averaging a delivery every two minutes since it commenced operations in 2016.
The state has over 100 hard-to-reach settlements where many indigenous people struggle to access critical health logistics.
The facility will provide timely access to drugs, vaccines and other medical products all year round, breach access barriers and provide employment opportunities for the citizens.