Government to establish TB and HIV surveillance systems

Government will soon establish a robust surveillance system for TB and HIV in the formal and informal mining communities, the minister of health has said.

This follows a rapid increase in HIV and TB related cased in the mining communities around the country.

Artisanal mining which attracts more than 2 million Zimbabweans is one of the prime source of TB and HIV.

The minister of Health and child care,Dr David Parirenyatwa, was speaking at the second stakeholder meeting on TB in the mining sector held in Harare on Friday.

“My ministry will partner with NSSA to set up an active case finding system in both artisanal and small- medium mining communities,” said the minister.

He also said that government has a responsibility of making sure that minerals are explored without disturbing the health of the citizens.

“It is our moral duty to ensure that as we enjoy the fruits of our mineral wealth, we do not do it at the expense of the lives of our very own children.

“We will strengthen the mining inspectorate to ensure that our mines, be they small, medium or large meet the minimum standards for a healthy extraction of minerals,” he said.

Artisanal miners who are always exposed to silica dust are set to receive protection from the government through its intervention in the mining inspectorates.

“We will collaborate with the Ministry of Mines, Labour and the Ministry of Social welfare through NSSA in coordinating statutes that regulate the health and well-being of miners

‘We will harness resources to strengthen the mining inspectorates to carry out inspections and strengthen their laboratory capacity to make sure dust levels and types of dusts that different mines produce lower,” said the minister of health.