Don’t dent your intellectual credibility with the Zipline Drone Agreement - Lecturer counsels IMANI Boss

Headlines Dr DaCosta Aboagye and Mr. Franklin Cudjoe
DEC 11, 2018 LISTEN
Dr DaCosta Aboagye and Mr. Franklin Cudjoe

A Health Lecturer has cautioned the President of IMANI Africa, Mr. Franklin Cudjoe not to present hollow arguments on the Ghana drone health delivery agreement like the KelniGVG deal.

According to Dr DaCosta Aboagye, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare is very efficient, experienced, professional and knowledgeable in the field of healthcare delivery and could further dent the intellectual credibility of the think tank, if he (Franklin Cudjo) engages Dr Nsiah Asare as he did on the KelniGVG deal which badly dented his intellectual analysis of the deal at last.

Dr Aboagye advised the President of IMANI not to be misled by his team to behave the same way and present false arguments like the KelniGVG deal.

The Ghana Health Service boss has already discredited figures presented by IMANI on the drone saga, describing it as inaccurate and not a true reflection of expenses incurred in a typical Ghanaian health facility as suggested by Mr Cudjoe.

According to the Founding President of IMANI Africa, Mr. Franklin Cudjoe “The Ghana Health Service – Fly Zipline Ghana drone health supplies delivery programme is novel, but the current strategy will end up improving nothing about our health system.”

Mr Cudjo further stated that the plan in Ghana to start with 600 deliveries (maximum capacity) a day within the life of the first contract is RIDICULOUS and must be revised. IMANI’s position is that the drone program should be in “a small project piloted at a budget not exceeding $100,000 over a period of 6 months in one of the very few areas of Ghana” where an emergency drone service can be justified on social welfare and public finance grounds.

Speaking to, Dr Aboagye, a lecturer at the University of West London also observed, IMANI’s arguments on “a small pilot project not exceeding $100,000” as baseless and empty. He indicated that the present strategy of the Ghana drone health supplies delivery advocated by government is in phases and will certainly end up improving service delivery within the Ghanaian health system at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels among other benefits. How can a strategy aimed to improving lives not add anything to our health system? he quizzed.

Dr Aboagye, who is the module leader for planning and implementation of public health projects at West London University expressed concerns over IMANI’s understanding of maximum implementation since the project is being fulfilled in phases. According to him, challenges identified and lessons learnt from the first phase can help inform adjustments or changes in phase two of the project. It is therefore not necessary to subject the project to a separate pilot or a small pilot as advocated by IMANI because the initial phase implementation strategy of the project by government is a form a pilot”, Dr Aboagye schooled.

There is a good reason why the project is not being implemented in all areas of Ghana at same time but in phases. “I disagree with IMANI’s understanding of a pilot project on this occasion. There are other types of pilot far from what IMANI is advocating,” He noted.

“You can pilot a project within a maximum project implementation phase and process or impact evaluate as the project is ongoing. It is just lack of intellectual understanding of a pilot project and the various types on the part of the IMANI Boss”, Dr Aboagye added.

“This kind of basic error of not knowing that a maximum implementation of a project in phases can be a classified as a form of pilot is worrying and unacceptable by the so called reputable policy think tank”. The Fellow of Higher Education in England and Wales stated.

Again, I’m sure the first phase of the project will cover some remote zones similar to areas like Saboba, Kpalba and Wapuli in the Northern region, where infrastructure situation and health demographics require such capital spending as suggested by Mr Cudjoe. A typical example is the Afram Plains where phase one of the project is expected to cover.

With the level of experience of Zipline drone operations within the African geography like Rwanda, Dr Aboagye argued that the government can certainly establish a proof of model via phase one of the project without necessarily undertaking a small pilot scheme as narrated by IMANI.

“Ghana can operate with maximum implementation capacity in one phase and still evaluate to scale up or scale down or even repeat the same level of coverage in phase two depending on the successes and challenges”.

This is even better and advantageous for Ghana because the contract is on a service performance payment system. This is where the IMANI boss might not have taken time to understand the terms and conditions of the service delivery and payment system on the contract,” He said.

The lecturer further indicated that IMANI should not compare the cost of a small pilot project of the drones to the cost of an expected overall maximum implementation.

“Again, my brother look, IMANI can have good ideas and recommendations on any project but if Mr Cudjoe’s methods continue to be hostile without exhibiting skills of engagement, negotiation and proper dialogue to explore opportunities of improvement, no government will listen him and take his policy company serious. If this developments continue you will see that IMANI will lose their intellectual credibility,” Dr Aboagye argued