Our Mopani copper mine in Zambia has supported many public health initiatives over the years. These include programmes targeting specific regional health issues such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and cervical cancer, as well as making contributions to local healthcare facilities.
HIV/AIDS counselling and testing
Mopani has been running a voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) programme for its workers and host community since 2004. It has expanded from a total of 1,550 users in 2005, to having seen 57,286 individuals in total by the end of 2013. In addition, community sensitisation programmes have contributed to reducing the number of HIV-positive individuals. In 2005, 43% of those using the counselling service were HIV-positive, whereas by December 2013 the number was down to 14%.
The programme has also increased the number of patients in a different but related programme, anti-retroviral therapy (ART). Numbers have increased from 24 in 2004 to 12,107 in 2013. This year, 84% of these patients are community members rather than Mopani employees.
GBCHealth, a New York-based coalition of companies and organisations committed to investing in health matters, gave Mopani a commendation in its Business Action on Health Awards 2013, to recognise our holistic community HIV and AIDS programme.
Our integrated anti-malarial programme encompasses the spraying of homes, larval control through chemical use, drain and swamp clearing, education and sensitisation programmes, and the distribution of insecticide-treated nets to pregnant mothers and children under 5. This year, the indoor residual spray programme covered 35,860 houses, of Mopani employees and community members; this is a slight increase from 35,515 in 2012.
The programme has achieved a reduction of the malaria incidence rate in the population from 216 cases per 1,000 in 2000 to 16.67 cases in 2013.
Cervical cancer screening
This year 1,196 women, aged from 25 to 40, were screened for cervical cancer at the 2 screening centres we set up in 2012, at the cost of over $250,000. These are at Wusakile Hospital in Kitwe and Malcom Watson Hospital in Mufulira.
Club foot treatment
Club foot, also called congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV), is a congenital deformity that can affect one or both feet, making them appear rotated at the ankle. With treatment, most sufferers can make a full recovery by early childhood, allowing them to walk and run normally. We opened 2 centres for the treatment of club foot in March 2012. The centres have corrected this condition for 74 children so far.