Leading-edge testing technology introduced to bolster screening services
and create opportunities for new prevention and treatment measures
LUBUMBASHI, DRC – Robert Friedland, Executive Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN), and Dr. Edem Adzogenu, an Ivanhoe Vice President and Chief Health Officer, are pleased to announce the launch today of a new, advanced healthcare initiative in the ongoing campaign against malaria in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Prompt capture of dependable data from screening tests conducted on patients is an essential step to help ensure that accurate and consistent diagnoses are made, which in turn will help to build a secure foundation for the future development and delivery of large-scale, effective prevention and treatment activities that can benefit people of all ages,” said Mr. Friedland.
The first phase of the program launched today will cover two established provincial health zones that provide services to a total of approximately 300,000 residents living in 40 urban centres and 330 villages. The Kipushi Health Zone, in southern Haut-Katanga province, includes Ivanhoe’s Kipushi Mine project. The Kanzenze Health Zone, in Lualaba province, includes Ivanhoe’s Kamoa copper discovery and mine development project.
Photo 1: Fio’s Deki Reader introduces a new
dimension in malaria detection, helping to deliver
a rapid, accurate diagnosis and transmitting
results to a cloud database.
The Fionet(tm) system, developed by Canada-based Fio Corporation, will be introduced into the DRC through the three-year program being sponsored by Ivanhoe Mines. Fionet combines mobile, intelligent devices and cloud data services to help health workers improve the accuracy of diagnostic testing and quality of care that they provide to patients. The Fionet system also improves the quality and usefulness of the accumulated data, which can be accessed to assist with the monitoring of patient care, research and the planning of future prevention and treatment programs. With support from U.S.-based implementing partner Chemonics International, DRC health workers will use Fionet to strengthen activities under the country’s National Malaria Control Program (PNLP).
Fio’s intelligent devices, known as Deki(tm) Readers, automate critical analyses of diagnostic tests for malaria, provide step-by-step guidance through workflows designed according to national guidelines and make it easier for health workers to track patient health outcomes over multiple visits. Fionet will make the data immediately available to program managers to help them monitor progress and target areas requiring improvement.
Mr. Friedland said that new technologies and skills have provided proven tools to address some of the challenges traditionally associated with malaria.
“Ivanhoe is privileged to be in a position, with our partners, to provide new resources to support established healthcare objectives and to help ensure that the latest tools are placed in the hands of trained, dedicated, front-line workers, right here in the DRC, where they will make a difference in contributing to better informed health management decisions and life-enhancing outcomes.”
Dr. Adzogenu said that while malaria is an entirely treatable disease, it continues to inflict a devastating toll on residents of communities throughout the DRC.
“This program will introduce knowledge and technology that deserve to be more widely utilized to significantly improve the health and welfare of people living in the DRC’s malaria-inflicted regions. Integrating the Fionet system into local healthcare services will give residents, including our workers and their families, access to a higher standard of malaria care. At the same time, data captured through Fionet will strengthen disease surveillance and management of malaria-control activities at the provincial and national levels,” Dr. Adzogenu added.
Photo 2: Training session on Fio’s intelligent
diagnostic devices for staff from the Health Ministry
Using a train-the-trainer model, the program will empower trainers from the Ministry of Health to build capacity among workers at established health centres. The first phase is introducing the system to 54 centres that cover two health districts and the planned second phase will extend the system to an additional 300 health centres in a number of districts still to be selected. “People too often seek help when the disease already is severe,” said Dr. Ghislain Makan, Provincial Coordinator with PNLP, which is the Health Ministry’s malaria-control coordination body.
“This partnership will empower health workers to offer better care at the primary level and make data collection an integrated and automated part of their routines.”
Malaria remains a pervasive threat in the DRC
Dr. Michael Greenberg, Fio’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, noted that approximately 97% of the DRC’s 70 million residents live in areas where malaria is endemic. Malaria parasites transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes still cause the deaths of about 180,000 people in the DRC every year; more than 90% of the victims are pregnant women or children under the age of five.
“Today’s announcement signals the activation of a compassionate initiative that is an example of how a government, a mining company, a health technology company and an aid implementer can innovatively combine knowledge and resources to improve the effectiveness of the fight against a terrible cause of death and disability in the DRC,” Mr. Greenberg said.
Jamey Butcher, Executive Vice President of Chemonics International, added, “At Chemonics, we believe the private sector can be a powerful force for creating meaningful change in the world. With Ivanhoe and Fio Corporation, we are proud to put this belief into action — adapting innovative technologies to the local context in ways that can demonstrate a profoundly positive impact on healthcare delivery and health outcomes for communities in the DRC.”
About Ivanhoe Mines
Two of the three principal African projects being advanced and developed by Ivanhoe Mines are in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Kamoa Project. Ivanhoe’s plans include development of a mine on the company’s Kamoa copper discovery in a previously unknown extension of the Central African Copperbelt in the DRC. In March this year, members of the Ivanhoe Mines exploration team received the prestigious Thayer Lindsley Award from the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada for the Kamoa copper discovery, recognized as 2014’s top international mineral discovery. Kamoa is the world’s largest, undeveloped, high-grade copper deposit. Ivanhoe presently has a 95% interest in the project and 5% is held by the DRC government.
- Kipushi Project. Current upgrading work includes drilling to confirm and expand resources at the historic, high-grade Kipushi zinc, copper and germanium mine, also on the Copperbelt in the DRC. Ivanhoe acquired a majority interest in the Kipushi mine in 2011, which had been operated by previous owners between 1924 and 1993. Ivanhoe has a 68% interest in Kipushi and 32% is held by state-owned miner Gécamines.
- Platreef Project. Construction of a planned mine is underway on the Platreef Project, based on Ivanhoe’s discovery of platinum, palladium, nickel, copper, gold and rhodium on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex. The South African beneficiaries of a broad-based, black economic empowerment structure have a 26% stake in the Platreef Project; 10% is owned by a Japanese consortium of ITOCHU Corporation and its affiliate, ITC Platinum Development Ltd., plus Japan Oil, Gas and Metals Corporation and Japan Gas Corporation; and the remaining 64% is owned by Ivanhoe.
About Fio Corporation
Fio Corporation is a private Canadian healthcare technology company focused on solutions for the management of infectious diseases. Fio’s mobile technology fuses automated data capture with on-the-spot diagnostics to help healthcare providers improve the quality of care they deliver to individual patients, while automatically capturing and disseminating data to strengthen health systems as a whole. Fio’s proprietary technology has earned the company the prestigious Genome Canada research award from the Canadian Government, as well as a prominent research award from the United States Government’s Defense Advanced Research Programs Agency. Fio also received a C$1million award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop technology that was successfully implemented in the fight against Ebola in West Africa.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Fio has commercial operations in Africa, Latin America and Europe. Singapore-based Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, headed by Ivanhoe Mines’ Executive Chairman Robert Friedland, provided Fio with its initial seed capital in 2006 and is Fio’s largest external shareholder, with investments totalling approximately C$12.5 million.
Chemonics International is an employee-owned international development and sustainability consulting company headquartered in Washington, D.C. Through the provision of assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation services, Chemonics delivers innovative solutions to complex social, environmental and economic challenges to create shared value, sustainable impact, and measurable returns for our clients and the communities where they work. With more than 40 years of global experience, including 25 years in the DRC, Chemonics is proud to lend its multi-disciplinary solutions, world-class management systems, and deep knowledge and networks in the DRC to support the successful implementation of the Ivanhoe-Fionet partnership.
Dr. Guy Muswil, Ivanhoe Mines: +243 818 304 307 | www.ivanhoemines.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Marlee Wasser, Fio Corporation: +1 416 799 3714 | www.fio.com | email@example.com
Oscar Pyng Mutanda, Chemonics International: +1 202 955 3300 | www.chemonics.com | DRCFioPMU@chemonics.com
Dr. Ghislain Makan, PNLP Provincial Co-ordinator: +243 818 153 499 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Certain statements in this news release may constitute “forward-looking statements” or “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including, without limitation, statements regarding the planned launch of a new, advanced healthcare initiative in the ongoing campaign against malaria in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Ivanhoe Mines, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “scheduled”, “forecast”, “predict” and other similar terminology, or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. These statements reflect Ivanhoe’s current expectations regarding future events, performance and results and speak only as of the date of this news release.
Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of Ivanhoe believes are reasonable assumptions, Ivanhoe cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, Ivanhoe does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this news release.