AUSTRALIAN MINING COMPANIES DONATE LIFESAVING MEDICAL SUPPLIES TO FIGHT COVID-19 IN AFRICA
By AAMEG | 4 May 2020
Perth, Western Australia: The Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group (AAMEG) is proud to be working with a number of its member companies to procure and supply lifesaving medical supplies to communities in West Africa, building the region’s capacity to combat COVID-19.
The companies, including Base Resources, Resolute Mining, Perenti Group, Lycopodium, Perseus, Geodrill, Capital Drilling, West African Resources and others, are drawing on their vast procurement and logistical expertise to source and donate large tents for testing and treating patients, COVID-19 testing kits, medical masks, gloves and other essential personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as ensure clean water, soap and dedicated hand sanitiser stations.
The supplies will be provided to hospitals, medical clinics and communities surrounding the companies’ mining operations, as well as central facilities.
“Extraordinary events require an extraordinary response,” says John Welborn, Managing Director and CEO of Resolute Mining, who has donated USD 1 million to fight COVID-19 in Mali and Senegal, where the company operates. “As part of our ongoing efforts to uphold the health and safety of our host communities, we are supplying vital medical equipment, as well as educating staff, stakeholders and the local population about health precautions and disease prevention.”
Similarly, Perth-headquartered Perseus Mining Limited has donated a total of USD 387,500 including both cash, goods and services, to assist its host governments and host communities in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
“The provision of financial and practical assistance to our host governments and communities is totally consistent with Perseus’s long-held strategy of practising sustainable mining – not just talking about it,” says Perseus Mining Limited’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Quartermaine.
“We are working closely with Ghanaian and Ivorian officials to ensure that our donations are directed to assist our host communities and do all in their power to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
While Africa seems to have a relatively low number of infections at present, it is expected to rise across the continent. And with high rates of malaria, HIV and other respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis, coupled with the limited capacity to absorb the pandemic, the death rate is likely to climb higher.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), much of Africa’s health care systems are indeed underdeveloped, and the healthcare workforce hasn’t grown sufficiently to meet the rapidly rising population’s needs.
As AAMEG Chief Executive Officer Bill Witham explained, “Under these conditions, and with our members’ capacity to distribute and assess the impact in the areas immediately surrounding their operations, we collectively feel it is our corporate social responsibility to bolster the medical capacity of these vulnerable communities, who are potentially at high risk of a mass COVID-19 outbreak.”