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 MoU, Newmont Ghana will procure PCR equipment, ancillary equipment, reagents and other consumables to augment the capacity of KCCR to scale up its testing.
Also, 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 total value of procuring the PCR machines, ancillary equipment, reagents and setting up of the laboratories is GHc 3.1million ($545,000).
KCCR is one of the two major testing centers in the country and the increasing number of cases in the country has put significant strain on the facility.
The Director of KCCR, Prof. Richard Phillips, expressed gratitude to Newmont Ghana, 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.”
Vice President, Sustainability and External Relations at Newmont Africa, Adiki Ayitevie, said, “Protecting the health and safety of our communities and workforce is our priority. 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.”
The MoU is part of the company’s initiatives sponsored from its Africa Region’s allocation of $3.3m of the Global Community Support Fund set up by the company to support COVID-19 management efforts in its operating jurisdictions.
So far, Newmont Ghana has approved over US$2million (GHc11million) 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 the Tano North Health Service.
In April, Newmont Ghana donated US$50,000 to help procure testing kits for the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the KCCR. The company also contributed about US$554,000 (approximately GHc3million) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines US$2million (GHc11million) donation to support the national COVID-19 management effort.