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Study links dementia in Ghana to galamsey 'mercury'

BY: Graphic.com.gh

A study has revealed that dementia in Ghana was linked to the intake of mercury as a result of illegal mining activities which leads to the pollution of the environment, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr John Peter Amewu has said.

According to him, the revelation has strengthened government’s resolve to stop illegal mining.

Addressing a forum in Accra, Mr Peter Amewu appealed for continued public support to make galamsey a thing of the past.

He said the study shows that about 10,000 Ghanaians suffer from dementia, a neurological disorder that affects the brain leading to gradual loss of memory.

Some of the sufferers of the condition are said to have been exposed to mercury, a heavy metal used by illegal miners to extract gold.

“Illegal mining has contributed to destruction of our forest, poisoning of our water bodies, and causing a lot of environmental impacts on the health status of most Ghanaians.

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“It has been established recently that dementia which is becoming an increasing problem within the country is caused as a result of mercury intake into our body. Data in terms of reliability have not been established, and figures of this nature should be worrying to all Ghanaians.”

“Under the leadership and guidelines of the president, we are determined to make galamsey an activity of the past, through the implementation of the multi-lateral mining integrated projects. We must state that as a government and as a party, we are not against mining, the methodology and practices that are undertaken in the process of extracting of the minerals, this is what the government is against. We hope we will receive the full support of Ghanaians and our developing partners in its implementation.