Prior to Ghana recording its first two COVID-19 cases on 12 March 2020, we had developed a comprehensive response plan to contain infections and the spread of the virus at the Tarkwa and Damang mines, the Corporate Office in Accra and in our host communities.
The strategy identified risk levels and provided mitigation measures ranging from screening to quarantine and isolation. We ensured that our operations were well equipped to adequately manage suspected and confirmed cases.
We also constituted a team, who are working closely with the Municipal Health Directorates of Tarkwa-Nsuaem and Prestea Huni-Valley, on broad‑based measures to prevent infections within the mines’ host communities.
Handwashing setup at the Tarkwa mine
Support to employees
- Intensive awareness campaigns at the workplace
- Continuous provision of facemasks and hand sanitisers to all employees
- Mine hospitals at Tarkwa and Damang are well equipped to manage suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases
- Three isolation centres, with a total capacity of 86 beds, set up at our Tarkwa and Damang mines
- Handwashing facilities have been set up at the mines
- Implementation of mitigation protocols, which are strictly observed by all employees
- Employees, whose job responsibilities permit them to work from home, have been enabled to do so
- New flexible work schedules to allow employees, especially those who stay on-site, to visit their families regularly without compromising the safety of other workers
- Mass testing programme at our mines
- Roll-out of COVID-19 Code of Practice to guide the effective implementation of mitigation measures instituted
Support to Tarkwa and Damang host communities
- Two brand new, fully equipped ambulances were donated to the Apinto Government Hospital and the Tarkwa Municipal hospital to boost emergency healthcare and COVID-19 responses. The two ambulances, which cost US$248,000, are not part of our COVID-19 action plan, but will nevertheless, assist these hospitals in their efforts
- Donation of COVID-19 prevention items to health facilities and community members, including gloves, face-masks, hand sanitisers, non-contact thermometers, goggles, protective gowns, sample collection kits, etc.
- Our Community Affairs and Wellbeing teams continue to educate residents and food vendors on personal hygiene, wearing of facemasks and social distancing protocols
- Ongoing community awareness campaigns on radio stations reaching our host communities
- Sponsorship of a weekly health programme on local radio to educate host community members on COVID-19
- Handwashing facilities set up in host communities to encourage regular handwashing
- In Accra, we donated seven disinfection chambers to the Ga Traditional Council to be deployed to various communities within Accra. The chambers, which cost GHS150,000 (US$26,000), are fully automated and provide disinfection to the whole body
Support to government
Gold Fields, through the Ghana Chamber of Mines, contributed US$434,000 to support the government’s efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, mitigate the impact and assist the more vulnerable community groups. Our contribution was part of a US$2m donation to the Ministry of Health by the Chamber. Separately, we donated US$10,000 to the government’s COVID-19 Trust Fund.
Read more about Gold Fields Group’s COVID-19 response