Govt Intensifies TB Screening in Mines
The ministry of health has intensified TB screening in all mines and factories that produce dust as a byproduct with the aim of getting rid of TB in the extractive industry in Neno district.
Neno District Hospital TB Coordinator, Paul Gondwe, says “there is a need for miners to know their status as they are exposed to excessive amount of dust which could lead to silicosis".
Gondwe adds that with the help of a mobile van, which is fully equipped with TB test kits, the initiative is going on well as they have already identified serious TB cases in the sites that they have already visited.
"Our visit at Zalewa Lime Company (ZALCO), we found that the company is up to standards although they have some challenges which need quick address like issues of face mask," he said.
The mobile van TB test initiative is being done in collaboration with the Ex-Miners Association of Malawi (EMAM) where the organization is seeking to improve lives of people working in and living around mining communities.
EMAM programs Manager, Bikie Jimusole, expressed dissatisfaction with the way ZALCO is handling issues of dust, saying the environment is not conducive for miners to work in.
"Our visit to this lime company has revealed serious challenges which include protective gear and harmful working environment as the miners are being exposed to excessive dust and am sure the final report on this mass screening will produce devastating results," Jimusole said.
EMAM has since appealed to all artisan miners to adhere to all standards of protection in a bid to avoid being exposed to TB and other respiratory diseases.
Meanwhile, results from the mobile van TB screening in mines is due next week and is expected to be shared with the visited companies for actions.