Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mining in Africa is spreading TB, study suggests

Date:
June 4, 2010
Source:
University of Oxford
Summary:
Mining for gold, diamonds, and precious minerals is dangerous work, but in sub-Saharan Africa the activity could be driving an entire continent's tuberculosis epidemic, a new study has found.

Data analysis shows a correlation between greater mining production and a rise in tuberculosis in sub-Saharan Africa.
Credit: Mark Lurie, Brown University

Mining for gold, diamonds, and precious minerals is dangerous work, but in sub-Saharan Africa the activity could be driving an entire continent's tuberculosis epidemic, a new Oxford-led study has found.

Researchers at Oxford and Brown universities, the University of California, San Francisco and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimate that the mining industry in Africa may be implicated in as many as 760,000 new cases of tuberculosis each year, due to factors such as silica dust in mines, crowded working and living conditions, and the spread of HIV.

Men travelling from afar to work in mines, such as from Botswana to South Africa, are at the greatest risk of getting tuberculosis. But their wives, children, and friends are also at high risk when miners travel back and forth to work, often many times a year.

This means that even if mining clinics successfully diagnose tuberculosis in miners and start treatment appropriately, the message is often not relayed back to doctors who work at the miners' hometowns. The authors suggest that this disruption of treatment poses a major threat of developing a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis.

The report, published in the American Journal of Public Health, concludes that mining companies and governments must work together to achieve 'similar levels of risk to those observed in Western mines', especially since mines in Africa are owned by the same companies.

To do this, the researchers indicate that healthcare programmes should emphasise continuity of care as miners travel across borders and they should routinely screen miners in order to detect tuberculosis at an early stage. They also highlight the need to improve poor working conditions and reduce the miners' exposure to silica dust.

'Improving living and healthcare conditions for miners may be necessary not only for the miners, but for controlling tuberculosis epidemics throughout sub-Saharan Africa,' said Dr David Stuckler, from the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford.

Tuberculosis has been on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa over the past 20 years with a doubling of the yearly annual incidence from 173 to 351 per 100,000 population between 1990 and 2007.

Largely these rises are the result of the growing HIV epidemic, but the data shows that HIV is only one of several factors involved in the spread of TB in the region.

Miners are also known to spread tuberculosis to their families and communities. Nearly half of workers in large mining countries like South Africa are foreign and routinely travel across large distances. Yet the extent to which all of these risks of tuberculosis are contributing to Africa's overall tuberculosis epidemic has not been studied until now.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oxford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Stuckler, S. Basu, M. McKee, M. Lurie. Mining and Risk of Tuberculosis in Sub-Saharan Africa. American Journal of Public Health, 2010; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.175646

Cite This Page:

University of Oxford. "Mining in Africa is spreading TB, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603160319.htm>.
University of Oxford. (2010, June 4). Mining in Africa is spreading TB, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603160319.htm
University of Oxford. "Mining in Africa is spreading TB, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603160319.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins