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Alba Iulia
Sunday, January 17, 2021

Miners at risk of contracting TB

Health Miners at risk of contracting TB

Government is concerned with the high-risk environment for tuberculosis (TB) transmission due to poor ventilation and exposure of workers to silica and coal dust in some mines.

Minister of Labour Joyce Simukoko said various factors such as poor livelihood and Socio-economic challenges faced by miners after leaving employment create conditions that facilitate TB infections and transmissions in mining communities and operations.

Ms Simukoko explained that prolonged exposure to the aforementioned substances damages the lungs and cause silicosis and black lung diseases which put workers at a high risk of contracting TB.

In in a statement to the media in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Simukoko pointed out that poor health-seeking behaviour among ex-miners mainly due to stigma, fear of losing employment and the high opportunity cost of accessing care has negatively impacted early diagnosis and treatment of TB.

“In order to enhance the livelihood of ex-miners and mitigate some of the factors that make them vulnerable to TB, Government with support from the Southern Africa Tuberculosis and Health Systems Support Project secured funds through the World Bank. And through this project and in collaboration with other stakeholders such as the National Ex-miners and Allied Workers Association of Zambia among others we have developed programs aimed at improving the livelihood of Ex-Miners,” she stated.

She stated that presently, Ex-miner cooperatives have been formed in Mkushi, Kitwe, Mufulira, Mumbwa, Nampundwe, Chililabombwe and Chingola districts.

The Minister expressed hope that the cooperatives will not only improve the livelihoods of their members but will also contribute towards job creation.

She further hailed the line ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry (MCTI), Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) for the expertise that they have provided and continued to provide in order to nurture the cooperatives that have been established into viable business entities.

2 COMMENTS

  1. it’s high time the health and safety and PPE should be a mandate to every company that deals in construction and other related industry thdeals in very dangerous toxic materials that are a danger to humans. this should not be ignored because really and truly it’s the employer’s responsibilities to ensure that all the employees are provided with PPE (personal protective equipment) to reduce the danger of contracting these diseases!! because this employees especially the ones that work in places like mines, constructions, road maintenance and stuff they deal with some hazardous substances that cause diseases to humans in the long run. So the government departments responsible for health and safety at play should address this to every company that deals with hazardous substances to ensure…

  2. If only you as Minister of labour could fight for better conditions of service for workers that includes ensuring safe work practices life would be easier. However, you only make cosmetic statements when on events such as this reality still remains that your people the civil service both private and public are working under difficult conditions unless there are cameras involved no statement is made. I am bitter at your inefficiencies as ministry you hold the powers in the name of the constitution to make conditions better for the entire labor force. I dont understand why each time you want to discipline a non compliant officer you always have to mention the president that takes power away from you as ministry and puts more pressure on the president. and if you don”t know you…

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