Experts demand action on dangerous mercury use in gold mining – Daily Trust

3/17/2019 7:14:00 PM

Experts demand action on dangerous mercury use in gold mining

Experts demand action on dangerous mercury use in gold mining

Health experts have called for urgent moves to develop a national action plan to curb use of mercury in gold mining.

ADVERTISEMENTThe National Consultant Public Health and Environment (PHE),World Health Organization, Dr Edwin Edeh, gave the indication at a sensitisation meeting themed, “Strengthening Partnerships for Public Health Assessment and Awareness on Artisanal Small Scale Gold Mining” (ASGM) in Minna.

According to Edeh, the National Action Plan will help will to identify challenges, and other issues faced by gold miners in the sector.ADVERTISEMENT“Even though the sector’s activities are money-spinning, they are equally fraught with monumental health hazards due to the uncontrolled use of mercury in mining processes by peasant miners.

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Its use in artisanal mining leaves the chemical in the atmosphere, posing great dangers to humans. ADVERTISEMENT The National Consultant Public Health and Environment (PHE),World Health Organization, Dr Edwin Edeh, gave the indication at a sensitisation meeting themed, “Strengthening Partnerships for Public Health Assessment and Awareness on Artisanal Small Scale Gold Mining” (ASGM) in Minna. Even though this was a painful decision at the time, it however became necessary since qualifiers from the regions became reluctant to travel to Kaduna for the grand qualifying round already slated for the Kaduna Golf Club. According to Edeh, the National Action Plan will help will to identify challenges, and other issues faced by gold miners in the sector. ADVERTISEMENT He said the Manal Hassan Foundation has concluded plans to eliminate the N5,000 access charge demanded from patients whenever they needed blood, to enable patients get blood free of charge. ADVERTISEMENT “Even though the sector’s activities are money-spinning, they are equally fraught with monumental health hazards due to the uncontrolled use of mercury in mining processes by peasant miners. Presidential and National Assembly campaigns were on and the political scene was placed on edge, indeed to a certain boiling point. “We are calling on relevant ministries to proffer workable solutions that will help mitigate the adverse impacts of poisonous chemicals on the people. E.

” He also informed the audience that 70 countries across the world are actively involved in artisanal gold-mining industry, noting that, the sector also contributes to about 35 percent global gold production. Given this scenario, it could have been a complete disservice if the tourney was allowed to play out with less than 200 golfers who were willing to make the trip to Kaduna inspite of several uncertainties surrounding about everything. Essentially the blood that has been collected will get to the recipient free of charge. Speaking at the occasion, Dr Astrid Knoblauch of the Switzerland’s Tropical and Public Health Institute Basel, said it is gratifying to note that Nigeria is taking necessary measures to reduce the use of mercury in small-scale gold mining activities. She disclosed that WHO has developed a framework comprising a suite of tools to support the development of public health strategies on artisanal and small scale mining ASGM. ADVERTISEMENT Now that the coast is clear, new dates for the event have been picked. “Part of the rapid health situation assessment is to describe the capacity and readiness of the health system and qualification of health care providers to address health problems specific to artisanal and small-scale gold miners, their families and the broader communities. “So, we will basically try to compliment the efforts of the government as much as possible.” Related . The first ten from each region will join about 160 professionals in a grand finale Pro-Am between April 25-28 at a venue yet to be decided.