Second Lady presents equipment to hospitals

The Second Lady Matilda Amissah-Arthur on Thursday presented hospital equipment worth Two Million Ghana Cedis for distribution among six health centres within Newmont Ahafo Mine operational area in the Brong-Ahafo Region at Acherensua. The equipment, made up of dental surgical instruments, dental X-ray unit, incubators, suction machines and surgical instrument kits. Others were wheel chairs, operating tables, oxygen masks and laboratory supply kits. They were provided under the Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) and Project CURE, a United Sates-based benevolent healthcare foundation. The beneficiaries are Yamfo health centre in Tano North District, Acherensua health centre and Saint Elizabeth Hospital at Hwidiem in Asutifi South District, Gyedu health centre and Kenyasi health centre both in the Asutifi North District. Mrs Amissah-Arthur commended NGGL for its social responsibility programmes but noted it needed to work hard to address the basic needs of the local communities. She expressed worry that after some mining companies had resettled the people in local communities directly or indirectly affected by their operations, failed to address some of the basic needs confronting them. Mrs Amissah-Arthur advised Newmont to ensure that most of its unskilled labour was employed from the local communities to foster the relative peace in the mine-take area. Mr Paul Sowley, General Manager, Environment and Social Responsibility, Newmont Ahafo Mine, said the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation established for community development project in the area had realized 17 million dollars. He said 3,000 students in second cycle and tertiary institutions were benefiting from scholarships provided by the foundation while school blocks, libraries, ICT centres, teachers´┐Ż quarters and clinics had been constructed in the 10 mine-take communities. Mr Sowley gave the assurance that the mining company would continue to ensure that the plight of the local people were alleviated and was optimistic that the hospital equipment would complement efforts by the government in ensuring access to better and quality healthcare for the people. Agyewodin Professor Adu Gyamfi Ampem, Paramount Chief of Acherensua Traditional Area, who received the equipment on behalf of the beneficiary health centres, expressed appreciation to the donors for the gesture. He hoped that the relationship between the local communities and Newmont would be strengthened for their mutual benefit.