The National Women’s Organizer for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Dr. Hanna Bisiw has defended her call for Ghanaian men to reject plans for the delivery of blood and other medical supplies using drones.
Dr. Bisiw, speaking at a party event in Asamankese over the weekend, sparked controversy when she argued that the remote-controlled drones will invade the privacy of women who take their bath in open spaces.
Late last year, the government contracted the services of Zipline to supply and operate the medical drones at a cost of $12 million in a bid to address emergency health situations.
The drones will deliver blood and other critical medical supplies to inaccessible areas in the country.
Parliament eventually passed the services agreement between Fly Zipline and government by a vote of 102-58 amidst heavy criticisms that the move was a misplaced priority.
But months after the deal was signed, Hanna Bisiw in a Citi News interview insists that the drones will take naked pictures of their wives as they fly over their roofless bathhouses and advocated for a return to the use of vans procured by the erstwhile Mahama government for that purpose.
“We the women in the rural areas of Ghana do not need drones. What we need are the vans that the John Dramani Mahama government brought into this country that this current administration has left to rot.”
“Drones have cameras. Somebody controls the drones from a certain point. When we are bathing as women and a certain drone decides to fly over us in the name of sending drugs , whoever is behind that device can decide to take the naked picture or video of that woman. A lot of bathhouses in the villages are roofless, so they will decide to fly a drone over that when I am in the bathroom? If I have a long stick, I will hit that drone down”, she fumed.
Her fears may, however, be misplaced since the drones Zipline is providing are not equipped with cameras which the company says is for security reasons.
‘I prefer medical drones to investing in ‘flyaway’ guinea fowls’
President Nana Akufo-Addo recently defended his government’s decision to rely on the drones to supply blood and other essential medicines
President Akufo-Addo argued that the drones delivery system will save Ghanaian lives and reduce wastage in the health sector.
The President described the drone delivery deal as the “world’s largest and most advanced medical drone delivery network”.
“We are also in the process of launching the world’s largest and most advanced medical drone delivery network. The four (4) distribution centres, from where the drones will be operating will stock one hundred and forty-eight lifesaving and essential medical supplies and not only blood”
The President also took a swipe at the NDC and said he prefers drones flying to deliver essential medicines to Ghanaians than investing in guinea fowls that allegedly flew to Burkina Faso under John Mahama’s tenure as President.
“I prefer drones flying to deliver essential medicines to our people than an investment in guinea fowls that allegedly fly off to Burkina Faso without any trace”.
‘Drones not a priority if we still travel abroad for treatment’ – Ken Agyapong
New Patriotic Party (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, however, views the services agreement between Zipline and government as a misplaced priority.
The legislator said the deal would only make sense the day leaders stop travelling abroad for medical treatment.
“First things first; before you take the drone to deliver the drugs, check the quality of the drugs and the facilities or the hospitals. It is more important to me… Is the drone a priority? I will say no.”
“Until we have sophisticated hospitals such that we don’t have to travel to America or South Africa, then you can think of drones.”
Sharing more thoughts on the deal, Mr. Agyapong also said he did not expect Zipline to make any profits in Ghana given their mode of operations.
“The company bringing the drones has made its mind up that this is charity because it will not get its money back.”