[ 2012-07-27 ]
Galamsey is the root cause of respiratory tract infections in Amansie West Distr
Activities of illegal miners in the Amansie West
District of Ashanti region is said to be impacting
negatively on the health and economic status of
residents in the area.
Health officials suspect the growing number of
respiratory tract infections in the area could be
as a result of the inhaling of chemicals used by
galamsey operators or dust emanating from such
Respiratory tract infection, with symptoms such as
cough, sore throat, fever and headache, among
others, is the second common disease reported
daily at the Saint Martin’s Catholic Hospital at
Agroyesum after malaria.
Galamsey activities are notably high at Manso
Nsiana, Agroyesum, Daatano and other surrounding
towns in the Amansie West District, which is one
of the less developed districts in Ghana.
Over 9,530 cases were recorded between 2009 and
Medical Superintendent, Dr. Ofori Amanfo, says the
situation puts pressure on health personnel.
Speaking in an interview with Nhyira News, he said
majority of those affected are the youth who are
galamsey operators and farmers.
The advent of Galamsey in the area has seen
majority of residents who were predominantly
farmers abandoned their farms, especially the
youth, to do Galamsey.
They see Galamsey as most lucrative venture where
they can enrich themselves fast and easily.
“With the influx of galamsey, I think people get
more money from doing galamsey than going to farm
so most of the youth, you find them at the
galamsey site instead of the farming areas,” Dr.
But Dr. Ofori warns the best way to stop more
people from further getting infected is to stop
“They (the youth) do a lot of galamsey activities
in the district and that involves digging. And
they inhale the dust and we don’t even know what
(the chemical) they use to extract the gold. So
the citizens or the people here will inhale all
those things and that can affect their respiratory
Source - Nhyira Fm-Kumasi
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