Zipline in Kenya: Expanding Medical Drone Delivery Across Africa

zipline in KenyaZipline Forms Partnership with Kisumu County, Kenya

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Yesterday, instant logistics leader Zipline formed an agreement with Kisumu County, a member of the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB), that will see Zipline make use of its warehousing facility and autonomous aircraft technology for the storage and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, blood products and other medical supplies to health facilities within the County.

Per the agreement, a Zipline distribution hub will be established and operated in Kisumu County, where it will act as the base of operations for the Zipline uncrewed aerial system (UAS) and Zipline services that will service health projects and facilities throughout 16 counties in western Kenya.

“We have made some significant efforts in improving the overall healthcare delivery of our people,” said The Governor of Kisumu County,  H.E. Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o. “It is heartwarming to note, therefore, that our mission of achieving universal health coverage is on course with this historic partnership which will ensure that no one is left behind as a result of their location”.

Zipline in Utah Zipline medical Zipline in Nigeria Covid-19 vaccines by drone“It is our commitment as LREB to deliver an aggressive agenda of building a robust health delivery system that will not only serve a few but the vast majority of people within LREB Counties,” said the Chairman of LREB and County Governor of Kakamega. “Zipline’s technology is one we can resort to in accelerating the transformation of our health systems to provide timely healthcare solutions to the people on whose mandate we serve”.

“I am happy to note that this is one step towards reducing operational inefficiencies that inhibit access to universal healthcare in our country and region,” added Dr. Gregory Ganda, CEC of Health.

​​“We’ve seen how automated, on-demand delivery can transform healthcare systems to make them more efficient, effective and equitable,” said Zipline co-founder and CEO Keller Rinaudo. “Zipline’s expansion into Kenya, our seventh country, in partnership with Kisumu County, is a pivotal step forward to expand these important benefits to more communities around the world.”

“This Zipline and Kisumu County partnership is a powerful collaboration that will  solidify transformational logistics medical delivery in Western Kenya and put Kenya on the forefront of health excellence”, said Daniel Marfo, Senior VP for Zipline Africa.

After the distribution hub is established and UAS delivery operations begin taking place, Zipline and Kisumu County will work together in a project operations phase with the goal of providing medical commodities such as COVID-19 vaccines to health facilities within the operational area.

Zipline has several business partnerships throughout Africa, with partners in Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and now Kenya, where it intends to establish an industrious technology driven transformation in the health sectors.

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Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.