Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, in collaboration with the German Corporation for International Development (GIZ), has launched a community health programme to address health-related issues in the mining community.
The intervention is to fortify the economic and health resilience of members of the mining community against the prevailing and future pandemics.
The Community Health programme is being implemented alongside the ten-year socio-economic development plan of Anglogold Ashanti.
The initiative is under the theme, “Comprehensive Pandemic Management in Catchment Communities in Times of COVID-19 and Beyond”.
The initiative would not only focus on the prevailing pandemic but other health-related matters.
“Obuasi was one of the cities which handled COVID-19 management excellently. Notwithstanding, we saw the impact on our health system. With this lesson, we definitely will have an opportunity to improve what was lacking. There was lack of medical and personal protective equipment at the onset of the pandemic,” Emmanuel Baidoo is Senior Manager Sustainability at Anglogold Ashanti.
“We are seeking to build that capacity. Also within the project, we are looking at supporting expansion of facilities in collaboration with the Obuasi Health directorate to know what the priorities are, and the resources we can provide to support them,” he said.
The partnership envisages an improved medical care, increased health literacy within the Obuasi Mine’s catchment community with proactive preparedness against future global epidemic.
The 3-year project seeks to support the establishment of an infectious disease and testing center and holding rooms for eight public health facilities in Obuasi.
Technical advisor at the GIZ developpe program, Mary Bonsu says the collaboration is for the collective good of healthcare delivery in mining communities.
“Mining communities are mostly deplorable, with quite a number of vulnerable residents. The mine is already doing a good job on the vulnerable. However, GIZ also wants to push in and put in more resources so we can achieve more to support the vulnerable in these mining communities.
“Most of the residents are faced with challenges of COVID-19, adequate space, and less access to healthcare. So, we intend to beef up the healthcare system in these areas,” she said.
Director of Obuasi East Health Directorate, Delphine Gborgblorvor described the intervention as timely and would augment healthcare delivery in Obuasi.
She advised residents to desist from self-medication.
“There was adequate and comprehensive emergency preparedness against COVID-19, when the pandemic hit us. So, we scrambled in the wake of the pandemic. This project is really going to help us have a comprehensive plan for emergency preparedness. It’s going to help Obuasi for any medical emergencies,” she said.
The programme would contribute particularly to the attainment of sustainable development goals 3 (health), 8 (decent works and economic growth), and 17 (partnership for goals).
The local traditional council in the area lauded the management of AGA for the initiative.