Since 2005, Barrick Gold has invested in a program to improve women’s health through education and early detection of breast and uterine cancer. To date, three campaigns have been carried out, two in Iglesia and one in Jachal District in San Juan province, Argentina.
Barrick Gold covers the cost for physicians to visit local communities and provide free medical examinations and information. Working in partnership with the OSDE (Organización de Servicios Directos Empresarios), a private health service delivery organization, the program has served over 500 women to date.
Early detection and diagnosis are critical in treating these diseases. Following the recent campaign in Jachal, 15 local women were sent to the city of San Juan to receive cancer treatment.
Ana Graciela Vera, from the town of Represa, San Juan province: “I am a housekeeper and I live with my family in an isolated area. To give you an idea, only one of my three children is studying, because we are not able to afford education for all. I really appreciate the health checkups that Barrick Gold is providing for women. Before we only visited a doctor when we fell ill.”
In Antofagasta, Chile, women living in poverty do not have the luxury of proper skin and hair care regimes. In this desert region, which has one of the country’s highest rates of skin cancer, basic hygiene is a challenge — let alone the treatment of serious skin conditions resulting from harsh living conditions and sun exposure.
In a show of solidarity with the poorest women of Antofagasta, the spouses of Barrick Gold miners at the Zaldivar copper mine came together to take action, launching a company-funded program that is expected to benefit 1,500 disadvantaged women.
Led by Yoyce Durante and supported by a team of 30 trained volunteers, these women are taking the training skills they gained at a Barrick Gold-funded course on hair and skin care and offering their services to local women of all ages. All services are provided free of charge and are helping to restore a sense of well-being and personal dignity.