South African Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has called on big mining houses to help set up an African Centre for Disease Control (CDC) to help fight Ebola. Motsoaledi was speaking as part of a panel on mining and health at the annual Mining Indaba in Cape Town, reports eNCA.
The panel also discussed concerns that the mining-related TB problem was not improving, even though it’s been in existence for over 100 years. Motsoaledi and deputy Mining Minister Godfrey Oliphant called on mining houses to do more to combat TB, silicosis and other mining-related illnesses since they have a wide-reaching social impact.
Motsoaledi said that despite the high levels of TB-related deaths, there was little outcry over it in the mining sector. "If there is a rockfall today, even if it kills one person, you are all going to hear about it. The same type of activism doesn’t follow TB," he said.
He added that in 2009 there were 167 fatalities from mining accidents in South Africa. In the same year there were 1,400 fatalities from TB – 1,143 were in the gold sector.
Motsoaledi and Oliphant called for a regional and continental data base on TB sufferers and treatment, since mining remained an industry fuelled by migrant labour.Full eNCA report