Canada-based gold miner Newmont Ghana in October donated a medical support package worth GH¢220 000 (about $58 000) to assist with the country’s preparations for any potential outbreak of the Ebola virus in Ghana.
The outbreak of Ebola has killed about 10 000 people in West Africa, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. The disease has also led to the crippling of the countries’ economies and the closure of some mining operations.
The medical support package donated by Newmont includes two isolation facilities for the Brong Ahafo and Eastern regions, as well as the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), thermal scanners, educational awareness materials and the training of hospital staff.
The package was allocated to support the Ghana Health Service at the district and regional levels and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
Speaking at a ceremony to announce the donation in Accra, Newmont Ghana regional senior VP Johan Ferreira said that as a responsible corporate citizen, Newmont Ghana stepped forward to contribute to the country’s Ebola preparedness plan.
“Newmont is taking the Ebola outbreak in West Africa very seriously and has embarked on a sustained community awareness campaign in our mining areas. We have been working with the Ghana Health Service at the national, regional and district levels to coordinate our activities and identify how we can provide support.
“In addition, our Ebola management team has visited and audited the readiness of the hospitals in the communities where we operate to determine what further assistance is required,” he explained.
The company also designed and tested a phased response and contingency plan that details steps to be taken to manage a potential outbreak of the disease near its operations. This includes setting up screening facilities at its mine sites and acquiring PPE and other medical equipment and supplies.
“The health and safety of our employees, contractors and communities remains our foremost priority. As part of our efforts to support the country’s preparedness efforts, we have embarked on a sustained education campaign to create awareness around Ebola prevention among our employees, business partners and surrounding communities,” added Ferreira.
While receiving the package, Deputy Health Minister Dr Victor Bampoe thanked Newmont Ghana for the package and called for more support from other organisations.
Ferreira mentioned that Newmont continues to provide all forms of support to existing global efforts against the Ebola virus. He said the company’s employees around the globe have demonstrated their commitment by generously donating to Newmont Mining Corporation’s double-match for employee contributions to the Red Cross.