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Zipline seals partnership to delivery drugs

Nyamira County is partnering with Zipline Company to avail instant Sexual Reproductive Health Services (SRHSC) of delivering medical commodities to adolescents and young adults in Nyamira County via an automated drone.

The County AIDS/HIV and STI Coordinator (CASCO) Irene Omwenga said that their partnership with Zipline is very much welcome and will be very instrumental in reaching out to the young adults and adolescents who fear to access sexual and reproductive health services from health facilities because of stigma and negative societal perception of them and their health in relation to sexuality.

“Our county’s records indicate that 50% of new HIV/AIDS infections are among youths between the age of 15-24 years, a worrying trend in our county in which we highly welcome partners to help us reduce and eventually end the new HIV /AIDS infection,” revealed Ms Irene.

“The high rate of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in this county amongst adolescents and young adults need a change of strategy to tame it; the reason why we are more than willing to bring on board partners who can help us in giving care and after care services to those affected so that they are in a position to cope and learn to adjust and accept their new state of life,” she added.

She was excited that the Nyamira County government has accepted to partner with Zipline Company which will be of great help in accelerating follow ups and instant delivery of medical commodities to young people who are living positively and are hindered from accessing them due to one reason or the other.

Mr Caleb Wanjala, a community engagement leader at Zipline Company said that they opted to partner with Nyamira County to boost their Sexual health Care services (SHCS) by use of drone technology where they deliver medical commodities via an automated drone right to where the targeted youths or clients are situated.

“Our decision to partner with Nyamira County is their statistics record of high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS on key target population in the county and they have given us their nod on a 3-year term partnership and we shall ensure that we will mutually coordinate to ensure we reduce the rate of new HIV/AIDS infections amongst adolescents and young adults,” she said.

“As zipline Company we are targeting a threefold impact in our partnership with Nyamira County in boosting their sexual health reproductive services. We want to impact individual youths, family economies and county and national economies,” Wanjala confirmed to KNA.

“Zipline will ensure that they identify all the places where youths enjoy hanging out and comfortably spend time together here in Nyamira so that we take the free sexual health services to them which will include counselling, information dissemination, testing and curative without the fear of being seen by a condemning society when they see them seek the same services from health facilities,” Wanjala explained.

He further said this programme will give the youths the autonomy to control their sexuality and make it easy for them to make independent decisions on when to give birth, to have safe sex relations with companions of the opposite sex preventing themselves from unwanted sexually transmitted infections.

“The county and national government are spending a larger portion of their health budgets to procure HIV/STI management and preventive commodities, a budget they can easily reduce if the youths had prior information on how to manage their sexual and reproductive decisions,” he said.

Wanjala confirmed that their company which is funded by Elton John’s AIDS Foundation (EJAF) has signed a 3 year contract agreement to provide sexual health services to adolescents and young youths in Nyamira County; a service they will start rendering immediately.

Zipline is a California-based automated logistics company that designs, manufactures, and operates drones to deliver vital medical products to everyone no matter where you live.

The delivery technology aims to create logistics solutions that serve all humanity equally by leveraging its expertise in robotics and autonomy to design, manufacture and operate an automated delivery system. The technology uses specific routes identified through digital mapping and identification of locations and takes between 10 and 45 minutes to deliver supplies within an area within the radius of 80 to 120 kilometers from the Zipline centre.

By Deborah Bochere

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