Newmont Ghana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) to support the nation’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the agreement, Newmont Ghana will procure PCR equipment, ancillary equipment, reagents and other consumables to augment the capacity of KCCR to scale up its testing, while KCCR will help set up two laboratories in Newmont’s Ahafo and Akyem host communities to build their testing capacity for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
The MoU is part of the company’s initiatives sponsored from its Africa Region’s allocation of $3.3 million of the Global Community Support Fund set up by the company to support COVID-19 management efforts in its operating jurisdictions.
A statement from Newmont indicated that the total value of procuring the PCR machines, ancillary equipment, reagents and setting up of the laboratories amounts to GHC3.1million.
According to the statement, the Director of KCCR, Prof Richard Phillips, expressed gratitude to mining company, saying “this will significantly boost our capacity to test more samples. With the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, this support could not have come at a better time.”
For the Vice-President, Sustainability and External Relations at Newmont Africa, Adiki Ayitevie, “protecting the health and safety of our communities and workforce” is the priority of her outfit.
“We believe that procuring PCR machines and setting up laboratories for public health facilities in our host communities will help significantly in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
So far, Newmont Ghana has approved over $2million to be spent on employee and community health, food security and local economic resilience initiatives within and beyond its host communities.
Among the beneficiary institutions are the Birim North Health Service, Birim North District Assembly, Birim Central District Assembly, Asutifi North District Assembly, Asutifi North Health Service, Asutifi North District Police Service, Tano North Municipal Assembly and Tano North Health Service.
In April, Newmont Ghana donated $50,000 to help procure testing kits for the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the KCCR. The company also contributed about $554,000 of the Ghana Chamber of Mines $2million donation to support the national COVID-19 management effort.