The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) substantiated claims that dangerous chemicals such as mercury used by Illegal Miners “Galamsey” including some officials of the ruling government, is causing birth defects in newborn babies.
Health officers at the Sewum Health Centre in the Western North Region had raised red flags that they were recording an alarming rate of birth defects and miscarriages among women in the area and that they could only pin the sudden outbreak on the chemicals used in the Galamsey activities.
Speaking to GHOne TV a few days ago, the Vice President of the GMA, Dr Frank Serebour, confirmed that the concerns raised by the Sewum Health Centre correlate with verifiable evidence and that the association had raised similar concerns in the past.
“We should start questioning what is going on, it is clear for everybody who cares to know that some of these chemicals which are used in this mining are very dangerous products and especially for pregnant women and so what happens is that yes it is true that, some of these chemicals can lead to severe birth effects,” Dr. Serebour stated.
“Some of these children can even be born with very small heads their heads can be very small, and then some of them would have issues with hypersalivation. If you look at even the cyanide that is used, the cyanide has the potential of actually binding to haemoglobin and when it binds to haemoglobin it is so tight that it does not allow cinotovite, all these organs and tissues antilock they need oxygen to be able to develop.”
According to the doctor, the dangerous chemicals used to extract gold from its ore can affect organs of unborn babies because it deprives them of essential nutrients and oxygen for proper development.
“So it is more likely that these ones can lead to these birth defects, so I don’t think that the nurses are wrong at all. And I think that it is something we should be looking at and I believe that I’ve actually granted an interview on this before and have stated clearly that these mining activities that are going on if we are not careful, we will begin to see cases with several birth defects,” Dr. Serebour told the Accra-based GHOne.
“We will see some of them with brain malformations, and we will see some of them with mental retardation, we are going to have babies with small heads and so it’s even interesting that we have not found people with Cyclops if I say Cyclops it means only one eye develops.”
This concern is coming after more than four years of lip service by the Akufo Addo administration to eradicate illegal mining activities that had destroyed a large swathe of forest reserves, cocoa plantations and major river bodies in the countries.
The government’s lack of commitment in rooting out Galamsey has been attributed to the fact that some of its party and government officials are neck-deep in the illegal mafia-like mining activity.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng who was appointed by President Akufo Addo as the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Illegal Mining (IMCIM) and his son Joojo Frimpong Boateng have been cited for being part of the Galamsey cartel.
In fact, Prof. Frimpong Boateng was recently captured in a secret tape that showed him confirming that he was illegally distributing seized Galamsey excavators to key members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to illegally mine for gold to plow some of the proceeds into party coffers.
Other key members of the NPP have been cited, including John Boadu, whose driver was busted recently but tried to bribe his way through.