Government, labour and business unite to reduce TB in mining.
The departments of Health and of Mineral Resources, the four primary mining unions - Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Solidarity, UASA – and the Chamber of Mines have launched a major tuberculosis (TB) screening campaign in South Africa’s mining sector.
The ‘Masoyise iTB’ initiative will run over three years and forms part of broader national campaign announced by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this year on World TB Day, 24 March– under the theme “Ending South Africa’s TB epidemic: Accelerating our response in Key Populations”.
The companies affiliated to the Chamber have agreed to play their part in this campaign by ensuring that every employee is screened and tested for TB each year from 2016 to 2018. Most companies already have comprehensive TB screening, testing, treatment and contact tracing in place, which are aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) practices.
Harmony in Carletonville – Silicosis First Stop Centre
Chamber of Mines President Mike Teke says: “This campaign will seek to take the work that companies already do further. Through this initiative, we will work with the DMR to assist smaller companies in implementing screening and testing among employees; we will ensure that screening and testing is extended also to contractors’ employees; and we will investigate implementing contact tracing to off-mine communities of employees. Contact tracing of on-mine employees is usually undertaken. We are also in discussion with the National Health Laboratory Services on how access to TB and HIV diagnostics can be improved.’’
The parties of this campaign will be reporting regularly on progress.