Globe Metals & Mining release an announcement to inform the market of its participation in the development of the Etandweni Health Post, nearby its Kanyika Niobium Project in Mzimba district, Malawi.
Commissioned by Globe approximately 18 months ago following a community consultation process, the Etandweni Health Post was a derelict facility providing childhood immunizations, provision of nutritional and general health advice, and family planning services. Globe’s involvement in this project is designed to build community support in the area surrounding the Kanyika Niobium Project, as it moves towards completion of its definitive feasibility study (DFS) in late 2012.
“Upon completing the agreed refurbishment in late 2011 and realizing the overwhelming demand for greater health services in and around Etandweni, Globe sought the financial and professional assistance of local public and private partnerships to dynamically boost the current and future capacity of the facility,” stated Ms Skye Gilligan, Manager Corporate Communications & Social Responsibility.
Working closely with the Australia Africa Mining Industry Group (AMMIG), an organization established to represent Australian mining and service industry companies active in Africa, Globe successfully applied for a Direct Aid Program (DAP) grant of A$29,000 from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to install solar electricity and a vaccine fridge at the Health Post.
Mr Matthew Neuhaus, Australian Ambassador for Malawi commented, “The DAP program supports projects that have a tangible development outcome for a specific group of disadvantaged people, particularly the needs of women and children. The business case presented for Etandweni was a perfect fit as the impact of electricity would be significant – not only extending operational hours, but providing the ability to power refrigeration for the storage of life-saving vaccines.
It was also through AAMIG, that Globe met Professor Mark Jones, Director of the Global Health Alliance of WA (GHAWA) who agreed to undertake a scoping exercise with Globe in Malawi to ascertain the potential for developing the capacity of Etandweni Health Post in conjunction with other health facilities in the Mzimba district.
GHAWA is a partnership of all five Western Australian universities working with the Department of Health Western Australia to improve health care outcomes in developing countries. “GHAWA undertook to work with Globe on a pro bono basis as there were clear synergies in our objectives and the scoping exercise provided the opportunity to consider the potential for Malawi as a location for future GHAWA activity. It was also heartening to find a mining company committed to acquitting its corporate social responsibility (CSR) through true engagement with the local community,” explained Professor Jones.
“Malawi, like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, faces a growing burden of disease and critical shortage of health system resources and in common with other developing nations, Malawi has significantly higher level of ill health and mortality than its westernized counterparts,” he said.
In February 2011, Globe together with GHAWA conducted semi-structured interviews with a range of key informants and community leaders in Etandweni Village and associated health care facilities.