World Malaria Day - A Day Not Just for Charity but Corporate Responsibility
Today is World Malaria Day, and mining companies have a great opportunity to continue to improve the cause of reducing malaria’s burden throughout Southern Africa and to demonstrate to their investors how social responsibility at their mines has an immediate impact on productivity.
From facilitating access to treatments for workers in local communities all around their mines to helping build early detection systems in high-risk villages, there is a lot that can be done by mining corporations and health and safety executives if they choose to get involved.
By implementing effective action plans now, these businesses can become part of an international effort dedicated to eliminating this deadly airborne infection from both mining, rural and urban areas alike - but how?
Keep reading as we explore different ways you can make your company's impact felt through meaningful interventions for World Malaria Day!
Developing HSE Policies in the Fight against Malaria - How Companies Can Help
While efforts to combat the disease have come a long way, there is still much to be done to achieve malaria elimination.
One of the most impactful ways to do this is through good Health, Safety, and Environment Corporate Compliance – ensuring that Malaria Vector Control Programmes are delivered successfully on time and within budget.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, and the impact of climate change resulting in greater deluges of rain, there has been a significant increase in malaria cases, and with it a decrease in workforce productivity.
Government schemes that have promised the distribution of Indoor Residual Sprays and bed nets have been noticeably late, leaving many mines unable to conduct their programmes before the rains arrive in September.
Dependence on Government supplies has become a real issue in the prevention of malaria cases. The procurement teams claim that product from government sources is cheaper, but if it is late to arrive, then it is a cost generator as more sick days are recorded because of malaria.
Whilst governments may provide IRS and bed nets, they are not usually proving larvicides, the key to stopping mosquitoes breed in the first place. It is an essential element of any Integrated Mosquito Vector Control Programme. All areas close to the mine and close to the communities need to be surveyed, and if identified as breeding grounds treated with larvicides.
Lastly, it is essential to keep testing people to see how well the programmes are working. The use of Malaria Rapid Detection Tests (RDTs) is much more common now and provides empirical evidence of the success of programmes.
Working with Malaria Vector Control Companies
This is why it is so important to work with Malaria Vector Control companies, who do not just provide mosquito control products but also help HSE executives design and deliver deliver “effective” programmes on time and within budget, delivering the desired outcome of a move to eradicating malaria.
They will ensure that stocks of the correct malaria control products are always maintained at the most economic levels, that through proper surveys, that the correct areas are treated with larvicide, fogging and IRS products, that the spray operators are well-trained and understand the importance of using the correct dosage, and applying them correctly depending on conditions such as how porous surfaces are.
Malaria Vector Control Programmes cannot be left to chance that supplies MIGHT arrive on time. It is far too important, and good policies developed with the help of Malaria Professionals and complied with, can ensure a healthier workforce and community.
Raising awareness of the disease - from corporate campaigns to encouraging employees to get involved.
Raising awareness about a disease is vital to secure the necessary funding and resources to fight it. From corporate campaigns to individual efforts, everyone can contribute to the cause. Corporate campaigns can help to reach a wider audience, particularly through social media platforms. However, it's also important to encourage employees to get involved and do their part in spreading awareness.
This can be achieved through simple yet effective methods, such as handing out informational flyers in local communities or holding local educational seminars for workers and young mothers. When everyone works together, we can make a significant difference in battling diseases and improving public health. By raising awareness, we can educate others and inspire action towards finding treatments and cures.
From our experience, many mining companies are leaving their malaria vector control programmes to chance by not engaging the right professionals to train their teams, relying on governments to deliver products on time (which invariably they don’t) and failing to identify the areas where the mosquitoes breed and treating them with the right larvicides.
Developing HSE policies for Vector Control Management, which must be complied with, will ensure that days lost to malaria sickness fall dramatically. Turn to the professionals who understand how to develop such programmes, get them to transfer the knowledge, and ensure that they have the right products and that they maintain economic stock quantities.
Andrew Jones is the Client Relationship Partner with Regent Laboratories Ltd