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WANF Cautions Government Over Drones Project

The West Africa Nobles Forum (WANF) has called on Government to hasten slowly with the implementation of the drone project.

The forum also suggested broad stakeholder consultation, particularly with those who would be at the helm of affairs.

A statement signed by Dr Paul Fynn, President of the West Africa Nobles Forum and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, expressed doubt about the benefits of the project.

The Forum said; “we don’t think the project will benefit those it is intended for, since medical personnel and facilities at the health centres in the hinterlands (areas of operation) are not well equipped for the exercise”.

“Having carefully considered all the issues at stake, the WANF believes a better approach would have been to pilot the project first before up-scaling it, given the varied needs and wants of the health sector, in order to ensure that all loopholes are identified and dealt with, ” it said.

The statement said the concerns by professional bodies and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) should be a cause for worry to all Ghanaians, given the state of the country’s healthcare system.

The Forum claimed that the cost of running the entire scheme would rip off the country, given that similar schemes in the past which were dollar-indexed cost far less than the cost of the current drone deal.

WANF urged the Government to suspend the project until it has undertaken broad consultation to get inputs from key stakeholders in order to make the project sustainable and fit into the country’s health policy.

It also appealed to government to allow an independent body to conduct a value-for-money audit to ensure that the country is not short-changed.

Parliament, on December 11, 2018, approved a $12.5-million service agreement for the use of drones to distribute essential medicines and blood to remote areas of the country.

The four-year contract with Zipline Incorporated International’s subsidiary, Zipline Ghana, involves the use of $88,000 per distribution centre per month when fully deployed.

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Ghana News Agency

The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.

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