In support of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3): End the Epidemics of Malaria and Other Diseases, Golden Star joins the National Malaria Programme and other partner organizations in promoting this year’s World Malaria Day theme “Zero malaria starts with me”.
Malaria is the single greatest cause of disease burden in Ghana and it disproportionally affects children and pregnant women. In our host communities, malaria represents around 60% of clinic attendance cases.
In Golden Star, we implement a malaria prevention program that incorporates spraying of residential areas, provision of personal protection equipment and repellents, and access to 24-hour testing and treatment at our mine site clinics.
In 2018, with the support of program partners, we shared over 5,000 long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets with our families and host communities. As a result of our ongoing efforts, we were recognized as a Malaria Safe Organization by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Our programs are paying off – in 2018 our malaria case rates were less than 5.5% of clinic attendance, translating to 0.35 malaria cases per workforce capita for less than 768 days lost to malaria illness.
GSR continues to support the Malaria Control Programmes (Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3)) with implementation of the Behaviour Change Communication Strategy on the use of insecticide-treated nets.
This is what some employees and partners had to say:
Evelyn Gifty Bilson, HR Training & Development Coordinator
As a Golden Star malaria champion, I share malaria control measures with HR at safety meetings and coordinate the departmental malaria champions training to ensure that everyone gets involved. The initiatives taken by GSR will reduce our medical cost when it comes to malaria treatment and will reduce lost productivity. The awareness created at safety meetings, and also the involvement in the malaria eradication programme, will go a long way to get people informed about the control measures that can help prevent malaria. Going forward, I look forward to educating catchment communities on environmental cleanliness as additional measures for malaria control.
Malaria control starts with you and in your home. Defeat mosquitoes and Malaria will be no more.
Francis Sarfo, Environmental Superintendent at Bogoso Gold Mine
As a GSR employee, I have participated and benefited from the malaria prevention program that incorporates both indoor and outdoor residual spraying of residential areas, offices and work places, and the use of long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets. These initiatives are good for GSR and it forms part of our key measures for preventing malaria.
I look forward to becoming a champion of malaria prevention by educating the workforce and the host communities on malaria prevention measures.
Hannah Owusu Adjei, Nursing Officer, Bogoso Mine ISOS Clinic
In view of huge financial and economic burden, which the disease poses to the operations of the company, the Health and Safety Department as well as the Community Relations Department have been implementing a number of initiatives to reduce malaria cases among its workforce. Notably, among these initiatives are employee education to create awareness on malaria, training of malaria champions in the various departments, internal residual spraying of company buildings and structures, distribution of long lasting insecticide nets, of which I was involved, and many others.
Samuel Kojo Ansah, Senior Safety Training Coordinator at Golden Star Wassa Limited
As a malaria champion, I coordinated the training of the GSR employees on malaria prevention practices and assisted with the distribution of the nets. The distribution of the nets has gone a long way to reduce the malaria cases reported in the mine. It is a great and effective initiative to prevent illness caused by malaria.
Personally, after a bad encounter with malaria, I am supportive of the medication as well as the preventive measures recommended.
More often than not we convince ourselves that using mosquito nets are uncomfortable and expensive, forgetting the self-inflicting slaps from spending a night with mosquitoes.
Zacharia Issah, Community Affairs Superintendent at Golden Star Wassa Limited
Malaria is a very serious illness and one of the leading causes of death in children under five and pregnant women in Ghana.
Golden Star as a Malaria Safe Organization has a lot of initiatives that help reduce malaria among its workforce and dependent. Sharing of mosquito repellent to employees who work on night shift and also progressing education on malaria control practices throughout the year help in the reduction of malaria cases.
Personally, I educate employees during safety meetings and sometimes unofficially talk to the community members on what they can do as individuals to help reduce malaria cases in themselves and their families.
Thank you Golden Star for these initiatives.
If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.