The World Gold Council’s Members operate in many of the world’s lowest-income countries. These countries often lack developed health care services, and face the enormous task of dealing with poor nutrition and communicable diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
According to the World Health Organisation, HIV has claimed more than 25 million lives in the past 30 years. Of the 34 million people currently living with the disease, 69 per cent live in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is also prevalent in the developing world—and Africa in particular, where 91 per cent of the estimated 660,000 deaths from the disease in 2010 occurred.
As well as the human cost of these epidemics, there is a considerable economic one. Illness and morbidity are a challenge for all segments of society, including business. Responsible mining companies see shared value in helping host countries to tackle public health challenges and improve the quality of life for their employees and host communities through corporate social responsibility programmes and occupational health initiatives.
Case study - Healthcare
Golden Star Resources provides National Health Insurance Scheme coverage for all its Ghanaian employees and their immediate families, as well as providing mine site clinic access for some 5,600 people (employees and their registered family) for 2012. Golden Star Resources has upgraded its local clinics to better provide services to its employees. As part of their corporate responsibility programmes, Golden Star built a health centre at Nsadweso, an Outpatients Department at the Prestea Government Hospital, nurses quarters at Bogoso, a mini-clinic at Brakwaline, and a community health post at Bondaye. Golden Star is a supporter of Project C.U.R.E. (www.projectcure.org), which, since 2003, has delivered 29 containers of medical equipment to Ghana, serving over 18 million people. In partnership with the German aid agency GIZ, Golden Star delivers health and wellbeing programmes to its employees and to its stakeholder communities.