TB project targets miners

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Mining might be a job worth millions of money but it also put lives of people at risk when it comes to contracting diseases such as Silicosis and Tuberculosis (TB).

This is why PARADISO TB Patients Trust has unveiled a project which aims at sensitizing masses mainly those that work or worked in the mines either here in Malawi or abroad.

In this country, the six month project is expected to be only operated in two districts namely; Phalombe and Neno.

The organization’s Programmes Manager Fred Zitonga Kaliati told Malawi24 in an interview that they have decided to roll out the project due to the lack of enough information about TB and Silicosis among Malawians.

“We have a big problem, there is lack of information about TB on the ground.

“Our project is mainly about care and support and sensitisation to the masses for them to make informed decisions and urgent adherence to TB,” he said.

Zitonga Kaliati added that they have chosen to work in the two districts based on a survey which was conducted.

According to Kaliati, once those that ever worked in the mine are diagnosed with either Silicosis or TB believed to have been contracted when they were working in the mines, the organisation will do all it can so that these victims should be compensated.

“In TIMs (TB in Mines) project there is a component of compensation. Once miners and ex-miners are found with TB or Silicosis which they got in the mines then we will push to the labour office for the victims to be compensated,” concluded Zitonga Kaliati.

Malawi’s ministry of health through Phalombe District Health Officer (DHO) Ketwin Kondowe hailed PARADISO for rolling out this project.

“This is a very important project because it will raise awareness on the dangers that are associated with mining when there is no protective gear.

“There will also be follow up to those who used to work in the mines within and outside the country like South Africa who may be suffering from related diseases like silicosis,” he said.

Silicosis is a lung disease caused by breathing in tiny bits of silica, a mineral that is part of sand, rock, and mineral ores such as quartz. It mostly affects workers exposed to silica dust in occupations such mining, glass manufacturing, and foundry work.

According to medical experts, people with silicosis are at high risk of developing tuberculosis (TB).

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