Newmont Partnership To Prevent Infant Mortality

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Newmont And Project C U R E Officials With Health Professionals
Newmont And Project C U R E Officials With Health Professionals

The birth of a newborn baby fills families with joy and pride as it symbolizes the continuity of a lineage. Unfortunately, some mothers do not return home with their bundles of joy due to complications during childbirth. Some even lose their lives in the process.

Access to quality health care continues to be a matter of life or death for mothers and newborns around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 2.3 million children died in the first month of their lives in 2022, with Sub-Saharan Africa recording the highest neonatal mortality rate at 27 deaths per 1000 live births. Neonatal mortality refers to the rate at which babies die in the first 28 days of life. In Ghana, neonatal mortality continues to be a major health concern and remains behind targets set by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

A Cross Section Of Health Professionals With Project
A Cross Section Of Health Professionals With Project

Each year, the WHO commemorates World Health Day on 7th April to shed light on access to quality health services. This year’s World Health Day will be marked on the theme: ‘My health, my right.’ The aim is to work with partners around the world to increase access, education, and information about health services to all people everywhere.

As part of efforts to prevent neonatal mortality and morbidity, Newmont’s Africa Business Unit partnered with Project C.U.R.E, a US-based non-governmental organization to, among other interventions, help train midwives and equip them with the knowledge and skills to improve neonatal survival and health. These midwives are selected from health directorates, health centres, and Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPs) compounds.

Under a programme called “Helping Babies Breathe,” over 100 health professionals have been trained in Newmont’s Ahafo and Akyem mine’s host communities since 2015. The programme was suspended during the Covid-19 era but resumed this year with the training of midwives and a gynaecologist from the Asutifi North District, Tano North Municipality of the Ahafo region as well as the Abirem Government Hospital, health centres and CHPS compounds in the Eastern region. Training for 12 midwives in health facilities at Ahafo was completed in March while the Akyem mine training begins in April.

The training programme involves capacity enhancement for the participants in key areas of childcare before, during, and after delivery, based on new research and recommendations from the WHO.

Newmont’s partnership with Project C.U.R.E. dates back to 2006 with the provision of medical equipment and supplies to under-resourced health facilities in its host communities while equipping medical staff with life-saving tools to improve diagnosis, treatment, and care.

A Cross Section Of Health Professionals
A Cross Section Of Health Professionals

In late 2017, Global Health Action produced a report on the Helping Babies Breathe programme study at the communities near Ahafo and Akyem. Out of the 48 students who attended the initial training, 32 recorded data from deliveries during the year following completion of the programme. The data revealed that out of the nearly 2,400 newborns delivered, they recorded a newborn mortality rate of 0.71 per cent, significantly lower than the estimated national rate of 1.7 per cent.

This year, Newmont and Project C.U.R.E. plan to continue to support quality healthcare delivery in the company’s Ahafo and Akyem host communities through planned initiatives, including the provision of medical equipment to health facilities and community clinics.

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