AGA targets significant improvement in maternal health

The new maternity block of the Obuasi Government Hospital.

AngloGold Ashanti-Obuasi Mine has reiterated its commitment to improving healthcare delivery and the general wellbeing of its host communities with the construction and handing-over of a modern maternal facility for the Obuasi Government Hospital.

The 16-bed capacity facility, built at the cost of over GH₵1.1million by the AGA Obuasi Community Trust Fund, is expected to contribute considerably to reducing the incidence of maternal mortality in the host communities.

The project began in 2018 and was funded through the US$200,000 operational support provided by Obuasi Mine.

It is fully equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and other health accessories, and has an operating theatre, delivery room, examination room, recovery room, sluice room, two post-natal wards with 8-bed capacity each, among others.

According to the Acting Director, Obuasi Health Directorate, Yaa Manu, the ‘differentiated’ nature of the facility will allow staff to be assigned for specific cases. It is believed that doing this will substantially boost service delivery.

But more importantly, she assured that operations of the new maternal block will help to save more lives since the facility is fully equipped to deal with all kinds of maternal emergencies.

Speaking at a short ceremony to commission the project in Obuasi, she noted that the facility should have been completed last year but was delayed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

She acknowledged the contribution of AngloGold Ashanti-Obuasi Mine to the health of Obuasi Municipality and its environs despite their challenges. “The Obuasi Mine has been very instrumental in supporting health in Obuasi.”

This follows the good inter-organisational relationship between the mine and its stakeholders, making it possible to see a number of infrastructural projects which are contributing to development of the mining communities.

The AGA – Obuasi Community Trust Fund (AGA-OCTF) exists to make investments in ways that contribute meaningfully to community development, and align with the priorities of communities and local government. This undeniably promotes a positive relationship between AGAG and the communities.

It is in line with this mandate that AGA-OCTF constructed the new maternal block as part of its contribution toward improving healthcare delivery in communities around the mine’s area.

It is believed that the new facility’s construction will bring down maternal and neonatal deaths at the hospital, and improve access to maternal healthcare in the Obuasi Municipality and adjoining districts within operational areas of the mine.

Also, it will improve the level of monitoring by clinicians for newborn babies and mothers, and safe delivery as well as a reduction in cross-infection cases due to limitation of space at the existing facility.

The Senior Sustainability Manager of AngloGold Ashanti, Mr. Emmanuel Baidoo, said beyond this initiative the mine at the start of its operations committed to set aside US$2 per an ounce of gold produced in support of community development.

So far, this has accumulated over GH₵2.3million and been entrusted to the Community Trust Fund

It is noted that the Community Trust Fund has operated since 2012 and provided projects in the areas of education, health, water and sanitation to the mining communities.

Mr. Baidoo emphasised that the mine remains a partner of development, and to this extent intends to roll-out a 10-year Social Management Plan after the current one elapses by close of the year, which will serve as the blueprint for development of the host communities.

Healthcare, he said, is keenly prioritised and featured in the Social Management Plan.

The traditional authorities of host communities lauded the mine’s contribution while recognising that the new facility will enhance maternal health in the area.

Both the Municipal and Regional Health Directorate appealed for the mine to also consider adding some more facilities: including an office for the Directorate, and an accident and emergency centre for the Obuasi Government Hospital.

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