TFM facilitates access to quality healthcare in its mining concession

Long before the production of the first copper cathode, Tenke Fungurume Mining focused on the health care of the communities of its concession, which was acutely posed. Malaria was in full swing in fungurume health zone, including other outbreaks such as respiratory infection, measles in children under five, cholera, etc. In 2008, a cholera epidemic raged in the Fungurume health zone, several people were affected, children and adults, the TFM concession recorded 493 cases including 17 deaths. As a good neighbour, Tenke Fungurume Mining felt concerned and joined the political and administrative authorities to find a quick solution.

Contingency plan

TFM has decided to support the Fungurume health zone with the medical inputs needed to deal with the epidemic. To combine the tool with the pleasant, Tenke Fungurume Mining built seven health centers and rehabilitated one, then equipped and equipped them with pharmaceuticals, a three-year accompaniment. The company then invested in providing drinking water to the urban centres of Fungurume and Tenke. Several standpipes were drilled, including water wells in villages.

As part of the fight against malaria, a program of the Congolese government, TFM has invested in it with indoor spraying in communities to fight malaria and reduce the incidence of this disease in its area of operation. The company has built an entomology laboratory, the second in the DRC after kinshasa, to study mosquito resistance to insecticides used for malaria control. Twice a year, TFM conducts a malaria prevalence survey among local school students and the results of the October 2018 survey indicated a decrease of more than 70% compared to the 2007 baseline survey.

In this context, explains Dr. Leonard Ngwej, head of TFM’s vector control department, “we are organizing close monitoring of mosquito lodges in and around the concession agglomerations to determine the height of the threat that this vector presents and, therefore, take appropriate actions.”

Dr. Leonard Ngwej, Head of TFM’s Vector Control Department

Dipeta Health Reference Centre

Important partner of the Congolese government

The Fungurume Health Zone reports significant needs every year, such as lack of adequate equipment, management of epidemics, etc.
As a good partner of the Fungurume health zone and in turn of the government, TFM does not skimp on the means to improve the quality of health care in its concession. During 2020, by acting upstream, the company handed over to the Fungurume health zone:

Primo, a complete kit to investigate simple or severe cases of cholera until they are taken care of. These also involved rapid diagnostic tests, management drugs, oral rehydration salts and infusions. In short, the health zone has received everything it takes to fight cholera.

Secundo, to allow the health zone to cope from time to time with measles epidemics, TFM has made a pre-positioning in inputs, in addition to assistance during measles campaigns where about 60 thousand children from 6 months to 5 years are vaccinated.

Tertio, The Fungurume health zone has benefited from significant support from TFM in the control and fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. These include the training of healthcare staff, rapid test kits, care medicines, etc.

The company also flew to the rescue of the provinces of Lualaba and Haut-Katanga by denying them respectively 400 thousand and 150 thousand USD to effectively fight against the coronavirus.

Quarto, The Dipeta Health Reference Centre, which acts as a general referral hospital, has received a large batch of medicines from TFM to meet the many demands. This structure of the State welcomes different categories of people. These include poor people, road traffic accident victims of the national road 39 (road leading to Kolwezi) to name but a few.

In addition, the company handed over 500 cartridges to the same structure at a cost of about $15,000 for molecular screening for tuberculosis. As a reminder, the Dipeta health center had also benefited from TFM a few years earlier from a specific equipment “GeneXpert” to allow it to make the diagnosis of tuberculosis in a short time and also to detect the multidrug-resistant variety.

Buses containing medical materials and equipment for the Fungurume health zone

Revitalization of Fungurume Health Zone

The chief medical officer of fungurume’s health zone, Dr. Jacques Mukembe, did not remain indifferent to the multiple actions of TFM for the benefit of his health zone. “The support we receive from TFM has a huge impact on the Fungurume Health Zone,” he said. It is true, we receive help from other partners, but without TFM we will not be able to cover the entire area, which also includes 18 health areas including 12 in the TFM concession. This is why we use TFM every year our health partner as needed. TFM has always responded favourably to our request. With this support, we are dealing with the various epidemics that are emerging in the area. As a reminder, TFM has built and equipped several health centers in the area and has provided us with a car cart for total coverage. Something that has allowed us to solve many of the problems known in the past.

The community of Fungurume through one of his sons also expressed itself. Dr. Patrick Mutombo praised tenke Fungurume Mining’s various achievements in the field of healthcare. “I would like to congratulate TFM for all the achievements made in the community. It is important to point out that we are also beneficiaries of the actions of the Community Social Fund. We received from this structure three equipped health centers, drinking water wells, standpipes, materials and equipment for the Dipeta reference center. I appeal to the proper use of these works.”

Dr. Patrick Mutombo, Fungurume Community Representative

TFM has financed the drilling of wells in 142 villages in total, and by the end of 2020, 11 villages also benefited from drinking water wells, the case of Mwanga Musonge, Lupana, Salabwe villages, to name but a few. To cope with the influx of the population in its concession, TFM has also built an important drinking water supply network for the benefit of the residents of Fungurume, Tenke and the surrounding villages. This operation continues in close collaboration with the Community Social Fund, the objective being to give better access to drinking water to as many people as possible.

Specifications

TFM inscribes its social responsibility actions in sustainability by carrying out projects of community interest with visible impact and for the benefit of the greatest number. Within the framework of the specifications, health has a prominent place. In addition to several other health facilities planned in the concession, TFM will build a general reference hospital with a capacity of 200 beds.

Tenke Fungurume Mining, a subsidiary of China Molybdenum Inc (CMOC)  

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