Showing posts from September, 2014

A Simple Public Health Strategy for ASGM

15 million people in over 70 countries are involved with Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASGM). The activity is a major gold producer and significant contributor to rural economic development. Although practices vary across the world, it is well understood that ASGM frequently has negative environmental, social and health issues. For example, it is the world’s largest source of mercury pollution. The Minamata Convention A new international instrument aimed at curbing global mercury emissions, the Minamata Convention, includes an article and annex specifically for ASGM, obligating signatory countries with ASGM to develop a public health strategy for the sector.  What would such a strategy look like? In very general terms, the Convention suggests the following elements: Prevention of mercury exposure for ASGM miners and their communities The gathering of health data Training of health care-workers on ASGM related health matters Health awareness raising through