At BNC and at Freda Rebecca, Mwana Africa staffs and funds the running of clinics for employees and their families.
Mwana Africa recognises that exploration and mining have an inherent level of risk, and is pleased to report that no fatalities occurred this year on any of its operations. Proactive safety management programmes instituted on our active mines resulted, for the year to March 2011, in reductions in the loss time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) on Klipspringer Mine from 14.78 to 1.06, and to 0.53 on Freda Rebecca Mine. Both mines and all our exploration operations routinely achieved months in which no loss time injuries were reported. Freda Rebecca Mine began the initial systems and documentation compilation for certification to the OHSAS 18001: 1999 standard for occupational health and safety.
Mwana Africa puts the emphasis on the prevention of occupational health problems, and the group therefore conducts regular exercises to identify and measure hazards, and to assess and manage the risk. Such hazards include, for example, dust, heat and noise. Risk management measures include:
Where health problems do arise, Mwana Africa seeks to provide appropriate remedial treatment.
The principal health issues faced in the regions where Mwana Africa operates are malaria and HIV/AIDS. The company provides medicines, education and training for the prevention and treatment of both diseases, as well as associated infections such as tuberculosis. BNC and Freda Rebecca Mine also staff and fund the running of occupational heath as well as primary health care clinics for employees and their families. The Trojan Mine clinic (part of BNC) has been certified by the government as an Opportunistic Infections Clinic. Freda Rebecca recently began offering an Employee Assistance Programme to its employees and dependents, which focused on counseling for work and lifestyle problems. Mwana’s mine operations have all implemented community-wide HIV/AIDS management strategies linked to the concept of overall Wellness. This includes awareness and education campaigns, voluntary counselling and testing (VCT), and health care training. UNICEF donates primary health care drugs to Freda Rebecca, which passes on the unused portions to the local provincial hospital.
Both Freda Rebecca and BNC have been accepted into the HIV/AIDS assistance programme co-ordinated by the Swedish Workplace HIV & AIDS Programme (SWHAP). This was possible through the supply chain relationship with a Swedish company, one of Mwana’s major equipment suppliers. Assistance from this organisation will improve the implementation of the Mwana’s Zimbabwean HIV/AIDS and Wellness practices, and assist with specialized studies such as sero-prevalence surveys, Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) questionnaires, and statistical risk assessments. Both organisations also receive assistance from the Zimbabwean Business Council on Aids (ZBCA). Freda Rebecca, through a company supported medical aid, provides anti-retroviral (ARV’s) medication to affected employees and their dependents. BNC has initiated the process of providing this aid through the same medical aid organisation.
Owing to the early stage nature of its activities in the DRC, and the relatively low prevalence rates in that country (3%), Mwana Africa does not currently have any formal education or treatment programmes in place in the DRC. However, employees are encouraged to participate in community-based education initiatives.