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Community health

Review

In South Africa, HIV/AIDS is perhaps the most significant community health issue. In Tanzania, malaria and water-borne diseases are additional community health concerns. While HIV/AIDS, malaria and water-borne diseases such as dysentery and typhoid are not occupational diseases, they impact on employee health and productivity and on the communities surrounding the company’s operations. Petra plays an active role in limiting the spread of these diseases and offers treatment to employees and community members.

HIV/AIDS

Petra has HIV/AIDS policies in place at an operational level. The operations have peer educators who are responsible for educational awareness within their sections.

Cullinan and Williamson have comprehensive HIV/AIDS awareness, wellbeing and treatment programmes in place that include the provision of anti-retroviral treatment (“ART”), whilst at Koffiefontein, Kimberley Underground, Helam, Star and Sedibeng, preventive HIV/AIDS awareness programmes are in place.

Awareness campaigns start during the induction process, which is repeated annually. These campaigns continue through various communication channels. In line with HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns, condom dispensers are placed at operations and employees are educated on their usage. Voluntary counselling and testing (“VCT”) is available to employees at Cullinan and Williamson.

Cullinan has an on-site clinic and a dedicated sister who provides VCT to employees that request it. VCT is also available to the dependents of employees and contractor employees. During FY 2011, 190 people participated in VCT at Cullinan. ART is available to Cullinan employees registered on the LifeSense Disease Management Programme. Since 2009, 45 employees have gone onto the ART programme, managed by LifeSense Disease Management, as part of the company’s monitoring and evaluation system.

Awareness campaigns about HIV/AIDS and other health and social problems are ongoing. The wellness coordinator and peer educators give talks to the workforce on specific issues. A local mobile clinic also provides information and assistance on a monthly basis.

At Williamson, 501 people participated in VCT during the year under review. The number of clients on ART for the same period was 453. Total attendance at the care and treatment centre was 1,814 for FY 2011. As a result of these efforts, the prevalence rate on the mine has reduced to 3.8 (compared to a national rate of 5.8).

During FY 2011, three HIV/AIDS-related seminars were conducted:

  • VCT and the reduction of new infections on the mine;
  • ART adherence; and
  • HIV/AIDS care.

Both VCT and ART are conducted free of charge to employees, their dependents and contractors.

Malaria

The single largest cause of morbidity in the district where Williamson is located is malaria and around 20% of all reported illnesses at the local hospital are malaria-related. Williamson provides support to various NGOs engaged in malaria education and the counselling of local communities. The Mwadui hospital, owned and operated by the mine, offers diagnostic services and treatment, including prophylaxis.

The mine has evidence based, integrated vector control and a monitoring programme in place that utilises appropriate technological and management techniques to bring about an effective degree of operational vector suppression in a cost-effective manner.

Specific initiatives during the year focused on:

  • establishing polishing ponds at the Mwadui sewerage ponds in order to enhance biological control measures;
  • improving the storm water drainage system in order to reduce breeding habitats;
  • social mobilisation efforts to control livestock activities within the Mwadui village; and
  • distribution of malaria nets to employees and local communities.
Malaria Incidence Levels
Malaria Under 5 years of age Above 5 years of age
  FY 2011 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2010
Outpatients 82 95 294 315
Admitted 43 90 118 131

Water-borne diseases

After malaria and HIV/AIDS, water-borne diseases such as dysentery and typhoid represent the third most significant community health issue in Tanzania. Williamson makes potable water available to its employees, their families and the surrounding communities. The water is tested and sampled by an independent company on a monthly basis to ensure its quality.

GRI

The following GRI indicators are covered in this section:

Occupational health and safety
LA8
Education, training, counselling, prevention and risk control programmes in place to assist workforce members, their families or community members regarding serious disease