In recognition of the threat posed by TB (tuberculosis) to the health and wellbeing of the region’s mining workforce, it’s general population, and to the mining sector’s significant contribution to economic growth and productivity, the heads of state of the 15 SADC (Southern Africa) countries have pledged to confront the rising TB crisis by signing on to the Declaration on TB in the Mining Sector. This publication points out that the most effective way to stop an epidemic like TB is to prevent its spread, that TB control programs confined to miners may be able to reduce transmission by limiting the number of sick, infectious employees but that there is no way to adequately protect any mineworker against infection if they come into contact with a contagious individual.The social and occupational conditions in the mining industry have resulted in rates of TB transmission among miners that are overpowering traditional TB control interventions. It calls for the mining industry to become part of a cross-sector collaboration to develop and deliver a TB vaccine across the entire population, not just limited to their employees. If in the 15 SADC member countries, a 60% efficacious TB vaccine, was delivered to 50% of the population, this could prevent 3.7 million new TB cases in adolescents and adults over a 20-year period.
Anon. Investing in the Future: The Potential Impact of New Tuberculosis Vaccines on Mineworker Health and Productivity. Aeras, (2014) 4 pp.