The Ghana Chamber of Mines has reviewed the increasing threat, as well as the devastating effects of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in recent weeks and decided to respond purposefully to support the government’s efforts.
The Chamber led by its President, Eric Asubonteng, made a donation of GHS 11.5 million (the equivalent of USD$2 million) to the Ministry of Health and allied institutions as part of the mining industry’s voluntary contribution to the fight against the pandemic, at a brief ceremony on Thursday, 9th April 2020.
Producing member companies of the Chamber that contributed to the donation are (in alphabetical order) Adamus Resources Ltd, AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine, AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, Asanko Gold Ghana Ltd, Chirano Gold Mines, Golden Star Resources, Gold Fields Ghana, Newmont Ghana and Perseus Mining Gh. Ltd.
The donation will go into the procurement of essential medical equipment. This consists of:
GHS 3.3 Million for twenty (20) Ventilators and accessories to the Ministry of Health for distribution to hospitals across the country;
- GHS 5 Million to the key testing centres across the country to support the testing of 25,000 Covid-19 cases. This is broken down into the following:
- GHS 2 Million to the Noguchi Medical Research Institute to support the testing of 10,000 Covid-19 cases;
- GHS 2 Million to the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) to support testing of 10,000 Covid-19 cases; and
- GHS 1 Million to the National Public Health Reference Laboratory of the Korle-bu Teaching Hospital to support testing of 5,000 Covid-19 cases.
The remaining amount of GHS3.2 Million has been used to procure 7,000 complete sets of PPEs to frontline health workers and to support other Covid-19 logistical requirements made up of:
- Hand Gloves- 7,000 boxes
- Coverall- 7,000 pieces
- Goggles- 7,000 pieces
- Face Shield- 7,000 pieces
- Face Mask (Surgical)- 7,000
- N-95 Respirators- 7,000
- Thermometer- 1,000
An Affiliate member of the Chamber, Rikair Company Ltd, also donated three oxygen concentrators to the Ministry of Health.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Asubonteng stated: “The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that increased testing, done quickly and effectively, is a key step in isolating and containing the infection. It is our fervent expectation that this donation will ease the pressure on government and free up much-needed resources for other essential aspects of the national strategy for Covid-19.”
“You may have heard about the measures individual member companies of the Chamber have put in place to protect our employees, contractors and host community from the infection. These include extensive internal COVID-19 protocols on our operations, as well as donations at the local level to health facilities, local government institutions and community groups.”
“As a good Ghanaian corporate citizen, even as we seek the promotion of our respective business interests, we at the Ghana Chamber of Mines recognise the need to also identify ourselves with progressive national efforts to protect the people and institutions in our host communities and the nation at large,” the Chamber President added.
Mr. Asubonteng stressed the need for Ghanaians to heed the advice of the Ghana Health Service and the medical staff as “…we put our shoulders to the wheel to safeguard our dear country from the effects of this pandemic.”
He further urged individuals and businesses to collaborate with government to ensure that the nation returned to normalcy as soon as possible in order to protect the value chain of both the formal and informal sectors of Ghana’s economy.
“The mining industry thrives on discipline as well as upholding the health and safety of our employees and host communities; hence we pledge our unflinching support to the government and its experts as we work collaboratively to stop the onslaught of COVID-19.”