Article published by Michael Hodgkinson at Think Africa Press, Friday 21st June, 2013.

A third of all new cases of TB in Africa are thought to be related to the mining industry.

Despite being both preventable and curable, tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the most serious health problems facing sub-Saharan Africa. According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated2.3 million people in Africa contracted the disease in 2011, and some 220,000 died from it. The disease represents a major health crisis, is a heavy drain on public resources, and, especially as drug resistant strains become increasingly prevalent, is today an ever more urgent challenge.

TB is an archetypal “disease of poverty”. It has been all but eradicated in the developed world yet remains a real threat particularly amongst those suffering from malnutrition or HIV/AIDS, and in areas where public goods such as access to healthcare are limited.

Eradicating the disease in sub-Saharan Africa will therefore require concerted and multi-faceted efforts on a number of fronts – one of which is the mining sector…

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