DISINFECTION DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Coronaviruses, a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
On 11th March 2020, the World Health Organization, (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. In Ghana, several precautionary measures have been taken to help contain and control the spread of the disease. While government and health agencies work tirelessly to control the situation at the national and facility level, the general population has been advised to take hygiene more seriously and carry out simple sanitation measures to avoid contamination. the Global Fund has also instituted the COVID-19 Response Mechanism to supports countries in responding to COVID-19, mitigating the impact on programs to fight HIV, TB, and malaria, and initiating urgent improvements in health and community systems. The main objectives of this mechanism are introducing interventions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on HIV, TB, and malaria disease programs, putting in actions to reinforce the response to COVID-19 and also to come up with Initiatives to make urgent improvements in health and community systems, including laboratory networks, supply chains, and engagement with vulnerable communities.
In recognition of the above, AGAMal has trained one hundred and fifty seven operators and implementing disinfection exercises aimed at minimizing the risk posed by this pandemic to some of its beneficiaries. The activity primarily involves deploying routine disinfection of all work places of AngloGold Ashanti’s mine sites in Ghana (Obuasi in Ashanti Region and Iduapriem in Western Region), Some selected health facilities in the host communities within Obuasi Municipality and Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality are also benefiting. Sixteen (16) health facilities in the Upper West region and three (3) facilities in the Upper East region are being disinfected daily to make them user friendly for people to have confidence in visiting the health facilities. The mine wide disinfection is fully funded by AngloGold Ashanti while the Upper East and West Regions disinfection of health facilities is fully funded by the Global Fund.
The disinfectant of choice is sodium hypochlorite which inactivates or destroys microorganisms on inert surfaces.