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Tuberculosis in the Mining Sector (TIMS): Health Focus awarded as Sub Recipient for the TB in the Mining Sector Grant

The Global Fund has allocated funding for a three-year programme on TB in Mining in the SADC countries to Wits Health Consortium (WHC), which will ensure interventions to reduce TB in the mining sector across and within the 10 countries. The participating Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries include Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The objective of the service package run by Health Focus is to make a contribution to the reduction of TB in the mining sector by supporting the reduction of immediate occupational risk factors for mineworkers across the ten countries participating in the TIMS programme. Activities implemented by Health Focus will support the ten SADC countries in exploring and documenting their legislative and regulatory frameworks for occupational health and safety as well as TB and silicosis control with a focus on working conditions in the mining sector. In order to achieve the objective of reducing occupational health risks in mining, the countries must address regulatory gaps and adopt appropriate occupational health and safety systems and structures that effectively minimize risk factors. Furthermore, the South African Mining Industry has acknowledged the existing challenges and responded in many ways, one of them being the so-called Mining Industry Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) initiative.

Within this context a model and generic toolkit was developed that allows the adoption of leading practice in silica dust control through a stepwise participatory process ensuring top leadership buy-in and action by multidisciplinary teams (engineers, occupational health and safety practitioners). This existing model and generic toolkit allows for adaptation to different environments and country contexts and combines technical and behavioural measures to reduce the incidence of silica dust exposure. In order to support compliance with occupational exposure limits and newest technical standards. Health Focus will technically prepare and assist roll-out of the toolkit out in the South African region.