VARIOUS health workers in the health care centres at Abosso Goldfields Limited (Damang mine) catchment communities in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region have called on multinational gold mining company to continue to donate more of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to their health facilities to help supplement their efforts to deal or fight against the spread of the deadly novel Coronavirus (COVID -19 ) disease in the mine’s host communities.
According to the health workers, although the Abosso Goldfields Limited, a subsidiary of the Goldfields Ghana Limited ( GFGL) in April 2020 has already donated some of the PPEs to the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipal Assembly which were recently distributed to their various health centres and frontline workers including some community centres within the Aboso Goldfields mine’s host communities, they needed more of the items to support their fight against the virus in these communities.
It emerged that the Aboso Goldfields Limited (Damang mine) in April 2020 has donated PPEs to Prestea Huni-Valley Municipal Assembly to health and community centres to support the fight against Covid-19 in the Aboso mine’s host communities.
These PPEs donated include 21,420 pairs of gloves, 11,240 N95 and surgical face masks,16,424 hand sanitisers, 1,080 protective gowns, 90 goggles, 95 surgical boots, 25 Macintosh aprons, 300 sample collection kits, 41 non-contact thermometres and 50 Veronica buckets.
The items, which was cost over US$108,000, has already been distributed to health facilities to boost the Prestea Huni Valley municipality’s preparedness towards the combat of coronavirus but the health workers demanded for more since the cases of the novel coronavirus are on increased.
The information available to this reporter indicates that the health and community centres within the Aboso Goldfields (Damang) mine’s host communities of the Preatea Huni-Valley Municipality which had benefitted from the PPEs are Aboso, Bompieso, Huni-Valley, Amoanda, Kyekyewere, Koduakrom, Nyamebekyere, Damang and Subri.
The revelation comes to light when this reporter visited some of the above-mentioned gold mining host communities of the company to conduct an random sampling on how the health centre workers and the residents in these communities are currently using the Personal Protective Equipment and also how they are observing the personal hygiene and social distancing protocols designed by the Ghana Health Service and World Health Organization (WHO) in the wake of COVID-19 disease.
At all the health and community centres visited by this reporter, the individual health personnel in charge of these facilities have confirmed that they had dully received some of the PPEs donated by the company, adding that they are making good use of them to prevent themselves from the COVID-19 disease and called on the company to donate more of the PPEs.
“We want to state that washing hands or advising our clients to wash their hands with running water and soap and wearing of noise masks are really impacting positively on our health care delivery systems and also keeping some of them who are the health workers safety from contracting the virus,” the health workers at Aboso, Bompieso, Huni-Valley and Damang stated.
At the Damang Ghana Health Service Community Clinic being founded by the Aboso Goldfields Limited, the Senior Erolled Nurse at the facility, Madam Lawrencia Gyemea explained that the items donated by the company were generally enhancing their health care delivery systems but according to her, they need more of the items to help fight against the spread of the novel COVID -19 disease.
When asked whether the clients (people) who came to the facility for the health care treatment were strictly adhering to the COVID-19 disease preventive protocols, Madam Gyemea responded in affirmative, saying that they dully enforced the implementation of adherence of the COVID -19 pandemic safe preventive protocols.
She stated that measures were be put in place by management of the facility to ensure that their clients observe mandatory physical distancing, wearing of noise marks and washing hands with soap preventive protocols wherever they came for the medical treatment.
She has, therefore, desmostrated to this reporter about how they are very active in ensuring that their clients observed the COVID-19 disease safety preventive protocols, adding that notice of warning posters were posted on the entrance of the facility to advise their clients to protect themselves. from the coronavirus disease.
Madam Gyemea indicated that although the Goldfields Ghana Limited Damang Mines and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Prestea Huni-Valley Constituency, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi and the Prestea Huni-Valley MunicipalAssembly are in the forefront of providing some personal protective items to her outfit to combat the COVID-19 disease, they thought that looking at the number of the staff, the items were not enough to keep them safe from dealing or fight against the deadly coronavirus.
She mentioned that the facility was given the surgical noise masks, hand sanitizers, gloves and veronica buckets without some important PPEs.
Madam Gyemea stated that the Damang Ghana Health Service Community Clinic lacks some important health care delivery logistics including the Wellington boots, water, staff, overall health gowns, generator among others and called on the Aboso Goldfields Limited to take a critical look at the situation and come to their aid again.
At the Huni Valley Ghana Health Service Community Clinic, also being funded by Aboso Goldfields Limited, the Principal Physician Assistant in charge of the facility, Mrs Fostina Damoah commended the Aboso Goldfields Limited for its efforts to spend more money to help fight against COVID -19 disease in its mining host communities.
According to her, the items donated by the company to her outfit were very helpful to their health care work and also streesed the urgent for the company to provide them with more PPEs, expecially the noise masks, liquid soap and the gloves in this material time.
Mrs Damoah enumerated some of the challenges facing the facility as the lack of Wellington boots, overall health gowns, noise masks, liquid soap and erolled Nurses and called for the support.
When asked about which measures adopted by the management of her health facility to ensure the adherence of the COVID -19 disease safety preventive protocols, Mrs Damoah
stated that her outfit was very active to make sure that their clients comply to social distancing and the other safety rules prescribed by the Ghana Health Service and World Health Organization to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We have taken pragmatic steps to ensure that the COVID 19 disease social distancing and hygienic protocols were widely adhered by our clients whenever they came to the facility,” she stressed.
Although the facility in the Huni-Valley community didn’t recorded any case of the COVID -19 disease, Mrs Damoah reiterated her outfit’s commitment to continue intensify public education across area to ensure that people understood the situation of COVID -19 pandemic complied appropriately with restrictions and safety protocols outlined by the government and the World Health Organization to fight the pandemic.
She urged their clients or resudents in the area to always wear their nose masks and desist from putting them in their pockets and hand bags, to avoid being infected with the COVID-19.
She said it was observed that many citizens were not observing the prescribed protocols by the Ghana Health Service including proper wearing of the nose masks.
She said observing the safety protocols including wearing of nose masks would not only prevent one from contracting the disease but would help contribute to fighting its spread.
She observed that many residents within the Huni-Valley community either did not know the significance of wearing the nose masks or did not know how it was worn, thereby, putting their nose masks in their pockets.
He said the nose masks were meant to be worn as prescribed by the Ghana Health Service to prevent one from contracting the COVID-19 and entreated Ghanaians to cultivate the habit of always wearing their nose masks especially when at public places.
“Do not leave your nose masks in your pockets, wear them always as prescribed by the Health Directorate,” he added.
Mrs Damoah explained that COVID-19 was real and very dangerous to human existence and encouraged residents to practice all the hygiene protocols as well as social distancing rules to help curb the spread of the virus.
“Wash your hands with soap under running water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers and ensure adequate social distancing in your dealing with others at the public places in the communities because this is the surest way to defeat the virus in the communities and the nation as a whole,”she advised.
At Bompieso Ghana Health Service Community Clinic, the Midwifery Officer in charge of the facility, Mrs Pusalla Ofoe noted that the donation of the PPEs by the company was a clear indication that the company has really in the forefront to safe the lives of its workers and residents in its gold mining host communities in the wake of the virus.
She informed this reporter that their clients were constantly using the water store in the veronica buckets donated by the company to wash their hands to ensure the strict adherence of the COVID -19 disease safety preventive protocols after time they came to the facility for medical treatment.
Mrs Ofoe appealed to the company to provide them with more of the PPEs, especially the surgical noise masks, gloves, welliton boots, tissue papers and hand sentizers, saying that the previous items donated by the company to the health facility were absolutely not enough.
According to her, although there are no recorded cases of COVID -19 disease in the facility but after realizing the low education on the virus in the Bompieso community her outfit has intensified awareness education on the COVID-19 protocols including social or physical distancing and the wearing of masks” among the public.
“We are much worrry failure for the public to observe the social distancing protocol also worry about very low awareness of the COVID19 protocols including physical distancing and the wearing of masks,” she told this reporter.
Mrs Ofoe has thus called for intensify education on the coronavirus disease and its safety protocols among the general public.
She stressed the need for all and sundry to step up public education on COVID-19 so that people can appreciate the risk reduction protocols.
However the visit by this reporter to the Ghana Health Service Aboso Community Clinic funded by the Aboso Goldfields Limited has also revealed the teething challenges facing the facility which needs urgent corrective measures to be taken by the Ghana Health Service and Aboso Goldfields Limited to have the problem fixed.
According to the Midwifery Officer in charge of the facility, Madam Philomena Addiah, the aggravation of situation was adversely affecting the health care delivery systems in the area.
She complained bitterly that the environment of the Aboso Ghana Health Service Community Clinic is mot conducive to boost for the quality health care delivery systems.
She added that the situation of the unconducive environment has made many people of Aboso to prefer to attend their medical treatment in Tarkwa which is 50 kilometers from the Aboso.
“We need more chairs and proper laid tiles health care delivery environment because the lack of the properly tiles laid compound of Aboso Community Clinic had made more residents to move to the Tarkwa township for their medical treatment which hitherto was affecting our health facility,” Madam Addiah noted.
Madam Addia minced no words when she stressed the urgent need for the rehabilitation of the labour ward of the Aboso Community Clinic, saying that the deplorable nature of labour ward is not encouraging at all which situation is putting the clients off.
Commentary on the PPEs donated by the Aboso Goldfields Limited to the facility, Madam Addiah said the items were being used to safe them from the coronavirus disease and called on the company to support them with more gloves, welliton boots,noise masks, tissue papers, liquid soap and hand sentizers to help them to combat the Coronavirus.
See photos of the health facility below
These are the health providing facilities in the minng host communities in Prestea Huni Valley Municipality in the Western Region that benefitted from the PPEs donated by Aboso Goldfields Limited in the wake of the novel coronavirus disease in Ghana