HEALTHCARE delivery center workers, chiefs and residents in the various mining operations host communities of the Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL) within the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of the Western Region have expressed their appreciation to the multi-national gold mining company for the measures it has put in place to help combat the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic within its mining host communities.
In the recent fact findings mission to some host mining communities of the GFGL including the Brahabobom, Akoon, Bobooboo and New Atuabo, chiefs, health center workers and residents in these communities were all unanimous in their praise for the company’s efforts to donate loads of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly to support in the fight against the novel Coronavirus disease in the municipality.
They commended the company for its gesture of donating the PPEs to their health centres and community centres to fight the spread of the disease, and described the company’s fight against the disease as sensitive and decisive.
“Tarkwa-Nsuaem and Prestea Huni-Valley Municipalities are lucky to have you at the helm of affairs at this difficult time. Whatever you have been doing as the multinational gold company operating mining activities in our communities in the connection of intensify public awareness campaign on the necessary hygiene and social distancing protocols needed to combat the COVID-19 within your minng host communities such as Brahabobom, Akoon, Bobooboo and New Atuabo all in Tarkwa Nsuaem and the Samahu, Abekoase, Tebe, Huniso, Pepesa also in Pretea Huni Valley is being dully appreciated and accepted ,” the residents stated.
The service of this reporter was rendered by the GFGL to visit these mining host communities to conduct an random sampling on how the health care centre workers and residents are currently using the Personal Protective Equipment donated by the Goldfields Ghana Limited and observing personal hygiene and social or physical distancing protocols in the fight against which the COVID-19 within its host communities.
In the wake of the novel coronavirus disease, the General Manager (MD) of Gold Fields Ghana Limited, Mr. Stephen Osei-Bempah, presented the items on behalf of the company to the former Municipal Chief Executive of the Assembly, who doubles as the former Chairman of the Municipal Committee on COVID-19, Mr Gilbert Kennedy Asmah, who handed over them to the Municipal Directorate of the Ghana Health Service through the Municipal Director, Mr. Emmanuel Affelkum, for onwards distribution to the various health care delivery centres and frontline workers in the municipality.
The PPEs donated include 35,700 pairs of hand gloves, 20,000 pieces of pocket-size alcohol based hand sanitizers, 1,200 large bottles of alcohol based hand sanitizers, 8,000 pieces of surgical masks, 7,000 pieces of N95 masks and 1,500 pieces of protective gowns.
The other items of the package were 800 pieces of sample collection kits, 180 pairs of surgical Wellington boots, 80 pieces of safety goggles, 60 pieces of Macintosh aprons, 70 hand held non-contact infra-red thermometers and 50 Veronica buckets.
The General Manager of Gold Fields Ghana Limited, Mr. Stephen Osei-Bempah, presented the items on behalf of the company to the former Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Chief Executive who doubles as the former Chairman of the Municipal Committee on COVID-19 Hon. Gilbert Kennedy Asmah.
However to acestain the information that the items presented by the Assembly to the health care centres on behalf of GFGL to its various mining host communities have impacted positively on the health center workers and residents in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, the GFGL has rendered the services of this reporter to find out how true the residents were adhering to the COVID-19 disease preventive protocols.
The Brahabobom Ghana Heath Service Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Compound which was the first port of visit of this reporter, the health worker at the facility has confirmed the receipt of some of PPEs from the company through the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Directorate of the Ghana Health Service.
Speaking in an interview with this reporter, the Volunteer Nurse at the facility, Madam Gloria Atiogbe Totime who is only health worker in the duty at time that this reporter visited the facility at Brahabobom commended the GFGL in its continous efforts to support the facility through the Assembly in the fight against the coronavirus disease in the municipality.
She stated that the donation of the PPEs, especially the veronica buckets to the facility has generally improved the hygienic protocols in their primary health care delivery systems.
He added that the people who usually attends medical treatment in the facility are being advised by her outfit to wash their hands or wear their noise masks which really was helpful in the campaign in the fight against the spread of the virus at Brahabobom community and its surrounding communities.
According to the Nurse, although the facility has not recorded any case of COVID -19 disease, her outfit has always ensured that any person who visited the facility for the health care service goes strictly to the COVID-19 disease preventive protocols.
“You [refering to this reporter] l think you see by yourself how the COVID-19 preventive protocols warning notice was boldly written on the door in the entrance of the Brahabobom Ghana Heath Service Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Compound that “Wash Your Hands With Soap or Wear Your Noise Marks before You Enter.” So when the people come here we have ensure that they adhere to the COVID-19 disease preventive protocols before they would be allowed to be attended to,” Madam Totime noted.
“We have appreciated all what the good works tje Goldfields Ghana Limited, Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly and Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Health Directorate of Ghana Health Service have been doing to ehance both primary and secondary health care delivery systems in the municipality but l want to state that Brahabobom CHPS Compound has confronted with the lot of challenges which needs urgent measures to be put in place by the local and district authorities including the Goldfields Ghana Limited to have the problem fixed,” she appealed.
She recounted litacy of challenges facing the health facility as the lack of vehicle, the perennial floodings during the rain seasons and mosquitoes bite of both workers and patients.
In this based, Madam Tortime stressed the urgent need for the local and district authorities including the Goldfields Ghana Limited to institute corrective measures to have the problem fixed in order to improve the primary health care delivery systems in the area.
She complained that when it is getting to 7 pm in every working days they have to close and went home because one cannot stay in the facility due to the rampant evasion of the mosquitoes.
At the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE ) who doubles as the current Chairman of the Municipal Committee on COVID-19, Mr Benjamin Kessie also spoke exclusively on the positive impact that the PPEs which have donated by the GFGL made to the health care delivery systems in the various health centres in the communities in the fight against the spread of virus in the municipality.
The newly appointed MCE who assumed office for a couple of weeks ago congratulated the GFGL for responding to a call by the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal COVID-19 Committee to contribute towards the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the municipality.
According to Mr Kessie who doubles as the former Presiding Member (PM) of Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly, he realized that since the company starts it gold mining operations in Tarkwa, the company has been a good and responsible corporate organization which attaches much premium to the health and safety of its employees and the people in its gold mining host communities.
Being the Chairman of Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal COVID-19 Committee, Mr Kessie told this reporter his outfit with the supreme support of the Ghana Police Service and the traditional authorities and faith based organisations had embarked on an extensive public awareness campaign on the necessary hygiene and social distancing protocols needed to combat the COVID-19 within the communities.
He stressed that his outfit readiness to continue to work closely with the Gold Fields Ghana Limited and the Member of Parliament ( MP) of the area on the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus within their communities.
The MCE urged for unity in the fight against the pandemic in the municipality, saying that the COVID-19 disease recovery rates within the municipality were higher.
He urged all and sundry to come together, put our shoulder to the wheel, and assist the assembly as well as the government to fight and defeat this deadly pandemic.
At the Tarkwa New Atuabo Community Health Centre, the Physician Assistant who is in charge of the facility, Mrs Linda Opoku confirmed the receipt of the PPEs donated by GFGL and she was on behalf of the management of the facility thanked the multinational gold mining company for its kind gesture.
“We want to state that the donation of Veronica buckets to us here by the company through the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Health Directorate is really helping us because when the people come here we instructed them to wash their hands with soap before entering into our health facility which was the clear indications or signs that we are strictly adhering to the personal hygiene procotols prescribedby the Ghana Health Service and World Health Organization in fighting against the coronavirus disease,” Mrs Opoku noted.
At the Bobooboo Health Care Center, the Senior Community Health Nurse at the facility, Madam Edith Quartey noted that she only received the noise masks from the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Health Directorate.
She called on the management of the company, Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly and the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Health Directorate to provide the facility with the alcohol based hand sanitizers, veronica buckets and welliton boots.
She further called on the compay to support chief and people in the to fast truck the speedy works on the ongoing Bobooboo Community Health centre project, lamenting that the existing health facility is very small which was adversely affecting the primary health care delivery systems in the area.
In the wake of Coronavirus in Ghana
the Executive Vice President of GFGL
Mr. Alfred Baku, confirmed to the media that the Company has donated over US$433,000 through the Chamber of Mines to support the Government’s efforts at reducing the spread of the virus and to assist the most vulnerable sections of Ghana’s population.
In addition, the company has committed over US$400,000 to support efforts aimed at preventing infections and spread of the Coronavirus in Tarkwa and Damang mines catchment communities.
The Tarkwa mine is spending its portion of the amount to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to support the efforts aimed at preventing infections and spread of the virus in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality.
He further disclosed that, in view of the urgent need for ambulance by the Municipal Committee on COVID-19, the Tarkwa mine has decided to fast track the procurement of the two ambulances for the Municipal and Apinto Government hospitals which were promised by the Executive Vice President during the sod cutting to commence the construction of Tarkwa and Aboso (T&A) Sports Stadium.
Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL) was incorporated in Ghana in 1993 as the legal entity holding the Tarkwa concession mining rights.
Gold Fields Ghana Holdings Limited holds 71.1% of the issued shares of GFGL. IAMGold, through its affiliates, holds 18.9% and the Government of Ghana holds a 10% free carried interest, as required under the Mining Law of Ghana.
Tarkwa is located near the southern end of what is commonly referred to as The Tarkwa Basin, 300 km by road west of Accra, the capital of Ghana. The Tarkwa mine operates under mining leases covering a total area of approximately 20,800 ha.
See photos below