North Mara Gold Mine women visit patients at Butiama hospital
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BUTIAMA District Commissioner, Annarose Nyamubi, (right), receives bed sheets and other items donated by North Mara Gold Mine workers to Butiama District Hospital as part of marking the International Women’s Day last week. Handing over the donation is the North Mara Gold Mine Effectiveness and Community Relations Manager, Saimon Sanga, (first left). (Photo by Mugini Jacob)

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PRISCHA Kambarage was one of the several patients who benefited from assistance of various products donated by North Mara Gold Mine women workers on Saturday last week.

A team of 46 women workers from the gold mine visited Butiama District Hospital in Mara Region and handed over their donation to mark this year’s International Women’s Day. The donation included more than 100 bed sheets meant for the hospital’s wards and direct help of different products such as soaps, toothbrushes, and body lotions given to patients.

“We real thank those (North Mara Gold Mine women workers). It is indeed a big surprise,” Ms Kambarage, a resident of Magungua village in Butiama District said from the hospital bed. Her words of appreciation were echoed by other patients including Musa Josephat, who was also in the same ward nursing a sick baby.

The public hospital is located at Butiama area where the founding father of the nation the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was born and grew up. Ms Janeth Magita, a nursing officer who was the delivery ward said: We are so happy with the generosity and the visit of the North Mara Gold Mine workers but we also are asking for help of an incubator machine to save lives of premature babies.

The gold mine women workers arrived at the hospital on morning hours while in white t –shirts and met Butiama District Commissioner(DC) Ms Annarose Nyamubi who accompanied them to hand over the donation. Ms Nyamubi thanked them for the donation which she said it supplements efforts made by the government to improve health service delivery at the district largest hospital.

“North Mara Gold Mine women have indeed shown a good example that should be emulated by others. On behalf of all women I would like to thank you and may God bless you,” the DC said.

A report read by the Acting District Medical Officer Dr Yusufu Kitunguye during the event reveals among other things that the hospital is facing shortage of workers, staff houses and ambulances. “Lack of x-ray machine is also forcing patients to travel to the regional hospital in Musoma to seek x-ray services,” Dr Kitunguye said.

Dr Jackson Maira, Acting Medical Officer Incharge at the hospital said they will continue striving to offer best quality services to patients as part of showing appreciation of the support they got from the gold mine women workers. “To us this is a debt, and the way of paying back is to provide better service to patients,” Dr Maira said.

Ms Fatuma Mssumi, the Section Leader of Community Relations Department at North Mara Gold Mine said the mine women workers have a tradition of celebrating the International Women’s Day which is marked March 8 each year by visiting and providing various aids to needy groups as well as supporting sensitive areas with huge impact to the communities.

“At the North Mara gold mine we have geologists and engineers who are women we have them here to make the donations,” Ms Fatuma said.

They also provided various gifts including cash money the two best performing nursing officers at the hospital. The initiative, Ms Fatuma said was also supported by a number of local contractors working at the gold mine which is operated by Acacia Mining, Tanzania leading gold producer.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Acacia Organisation Effectiveness and Community Relations Manager at North Mara Gold Mine Site Mr Saimon Sanga said increasing number of women in work places is imperative in bringing positive changes.

Mr Sanga said despite having operational areas in Nyamongo in Tarime District, Acacia North Mara Gold Mine women workers saw the importance of extending their support to Butiama District. “Our operations are in Nyamongo but we believe we do not need to support only the villages of Nyamongo because we are operating in Tanzania,” Mr Sanga said.

The mining company has in the recent years spent billions of shillings to support local development in villages around North Mara Gold Mine with areas of education, health, water and rural roads getting top priority.

The miner is presently building two huge modern health centres at Nyamwaga and Kerende villages in Tarime District council after completing many other community development projects.

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