Africa-Press – Ghana. AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine (AGA), has launched a comprehensive pandemic management programme for the Adansi enclave in the Ashanti Region, at Obuasi.
The objective of the programme, which is being implemented in partnership with DeveloPPP, the health arm of the German International Development Cooperation (GIZ), is to develop and implement a robust strategy in order to holistically address some of the recurrent challenges confronting healthcare delivery in beneficiary communities for effective pandemic management in the future.
Aside from AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, the GIZ is also partnering major mining firms such as Asanko Gold, AngloGold Ashanti, Iduapriem and Golden Star Resources, to implement the health programme in their respective catchment communities.
Mr Emmanuel Baidoo, Senior Manager, Sustainability at AngloGold Ashanti, speaking at the ceremony which was under the theme ‘Pandemic Management in Catchment Communities in Times of COVID-19 & Beyond’, said the programme was in response to the lack of emergency preparedness awareness and emergency preparedness capabilities in communities, which were evidenced during the COVID-19 outbreak.
He said AngloGold Ashanti and its Stakeholders – the Obuasi Municipal and Obuasi East District Assemblies, the Health Directorates of the two Assemblies, AGA Health Foundation and AGA Malaria Control Programme, “see the project as an opportunity to leverage each other’s strength”.
Under the programme, Mr Baidoo said, the stakeholders would embark on rigorous sensitization campaigns to promote healthy living and sound environmental management practices to prevent the outbreak of communicable and non-communicable diseases, and also deal with the stigma that such diseases come with.
Again, AGA would liaise with the health directorates in the area to expand health facilities and extend support in terms of maternal health, disease prevention and environmental health.
These, Mr Baidoo said, would be implemented alongside the yet to be unveiled 10-year Socio-economic Management Plan of the company. Ms Mary Bonsu, Technical Advisor of DeveloPPP health-GIZ, elaborated some key objectives the programme would seek to achieve.
She said the three-year programme, which started in September 2021 and expected to end in August 2024, had so far enrolled 60,000 members in the beneficiary communities onto the National Health insurance Scheme (NHIS) and were active in usage and renewal.
Ten thousand (10,000) others have taken a test to determine their health literacy including COVID-19, and 70 percent of them had increased their score by 20 percent by the end of the literacy project.
Furthermore, some 150,000 community members have received medical care, including vaccinations and medical screening, as part of the project. Ms Delphine Gborgblorvor, Obuasi East District Director of Health Services lauded AngloGold Ashanti and GIZ for the project.
She said the effects of COVID-19 had taught the world lessons on how to develop comprehensive plans to deal with emergencies, hence, the project would help Obuasi to be adequately prepared for future emergencies.
Mr Francis Dwira Darko, Obuasi Municipal Coordinating Director who represented the Municipal Chief Executive, pledged the Assembly’s support and cooperation to the full implementation of the Community Health programme for Obuasi.
Nana Serwaa Buruwaa, Akrokerihemaa praised AngloGold Ashanti for the various health Intervention programs and projects it had implemented in the area over the years.
She said the company had demonstrated it was not only in the area to mine gold, but also had the socio-economic and health needs of the people in its operational area at heart.