Surgold (Newmont’s fully owned subsidiary and manager of the Merian gold project) has teamed up with Suriname’s Ministry of Health to support its Malaria Program and provide logistical support for conducting malaria outreach in the local communities.
The Malaria Program is a success story in the eradication of malaria, and, through prevention education, it has successfully stopped the spread of malaria in Suriname’s interior. The program is currently focused on reaching people in the artisanal gold mining areas located just south of the Merian project, where the risk of malaria has increased due to an influx of migrant workers.
Last month, Surgold helped distribute 1,500 bed nets impregnated with insect repellent to various Pamaka villages along the Marowijne River. The bed nets were provided by the Malaria Program and were handed out to small-scale miners and community members in the region. The field trip was also an opportunity for Surgold to help the Ministry of Health with its Malaria Outreach project, through which they conduct rapid testing for malaria and assessment of leishmaniosis – a disease transmitted by the bite of sandflies which is also common in the region.
Surgold’s Community Relations team, together with Malaria Outreach Agent and representative of the Malaria Program Valdilea Lima, coordinated the field trip. For Miss Lima, it was a privilege to team up with Surgold for this project: “The community really needed this support. We got a great response and there was a lot of interest in registering for the rapid testing on the spot”, Miss Lima said.
“The bed nets were very well received. This outreach gave Surgold an opportunity to continue our engagement with community members and to hear about other health related projects they would like to implement in their community. In particular around rapid testing for HIV/Aids and diabetes,” said Christine Amato, Surgold Community Relations lead person.
Local community members in Suriname speak about the experience in this video:
To learn more about Newmont’s ongoing community engagement efforts, visit www.beyondthemine.com.