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 the 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”.
Chamber of Mines member companies 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, despite most of them already having comprehensive TB screening, testing, treatment and contact tracing in place, which are aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) practices.
“This campaign will seek to take the work that companies already do further. Through this initiative, we will work with the Department of Mineral Resources to assist smaller companies in implementing screening and testing among employees. We will also ensure that screening and testing is extended to contractors’ employees and we will investigate implementing contact tracing to off-mine communities of employees,” says Chamber of Mines President Mike Teke says.
The parties to this campaign will be reporting regularly on progress.