By Alfred Adams
Goldfields Ghana Foundation, in collaboration with Rotary Club, has held a medical outreach programme for three communities within the operational area of the mining company.
The exercise, which is held annually, saw a medical team drawn from Tarkwa undertake the programme.
Nurses and doctors, who, through the Goldfields Foundation had their education sponsored in the tertiary institutions, also took part in the medical outreach programme.
In all, over 800 people, drawn from the communities of Koduakorm, Mehuntem, and Kwabenaho all at Damang in the Prestea Huni-Valley District, benefitted from the exercise.
A total of $20,000 was expended on the exercise, which saw medical services such as laboratory tests for malaria, Hepatitis B, consulting services, and checking of vitals, ended with the distribution of clothes.
Mr. Abdel Razak Yakubu, Community Affairs and Public Relations Manager, in an interview, explained that Gold Fields has been organising health screening for its host communities annually.
However, what made it a little new was the collaboration the mining company had from the Rotary Club.
Whilst the Goldfield Foundation was distributing medicines, the Rotary Club was on the other hand distributing clothing.
The aim of the medical exercise, he explained, was to bring health care to the doorsteps of the members of the communities.
“Last year, 650 community members from Koduakrom and Subri were screened and provided free medication; the Foundation is happy to partner such like-minded institutions so as to synergise our resources for the benefit of our people,” he added.
Mr George Damien, President of the Rotary Club of Tarkwa, said the club was also supporting with some medicines such as dewormers, and paracetamol among others.
“We brought used clothings, assorted drinks, boxes of soap, disinfectants, printed T-shirts among others at a total cost of GH¢10,000,” he said.
He explained that the support forms part of the club’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and also to put smiles on the faces of the less-privileged in society.
Dr. Richard Amissah, who was the leader of the medical team, said malaria and respiratory diseases were high amongst the children screened.
“The newly diagnosed disease was hypertensive; those who have it have been given first aid and referred to the Damang Health Center to be assessed for further treatment.”
Hajia Maryam Yakubu, Principal Biomedical Scientist at the Tarkwa Government Hospital, pointed out that malaria was the most occurring disease during the laboratory tests. “It was realised that most of the community members do not know how to handle malaria cases; the communities have been advised to sleep under Insecticide Treated Nets, as well as keep their environments clean,” she added.
Also, she noted that most of the community members do not visit the health centers when they fall ill because they have to travel a long distance to access health care.
She appealed to the government and institutions in the catchment area to construct a health center for Damang, which will go a long way to help take care of some of their health problems.
Pix: The medical team attending to the indigenes of the host communities