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South African Health Minister Says TB Is Biggest Threat To Mining Industry Workers

“Accidents and violence get most of the attention, but the deadliest threat to workers in the South African mining industry is tuberculosis, says the minister of health leading new efforts to combat the infectious disease,” The Star reports. Summarizing an interview with South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who was in “Ottawa this week to chair a meeting of the coordinating board of the Stop TB Partnership, which sets global strategy for dealing with the infectious disease,” the newspaper writes, “Motsoaledi said most of the tuberculosis in the region originates within the mines that have made South Africa the largest producer of gold in the world and noted the list does not include Swaziland or Lesotho, which send many laborers to work in South Africa’s mines before they return home again infected with the disease.” Motsoaledi also said the mining industry should play a role in efforts to reduce the incidence of TB among its workers, according to the newspaper. “Ahead of the board meeting, Canadian International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino gave a speech in which he recognized the link between mining and tuberculosis in Africa, and stressed the role partnerships with the private sector can play,” The Star adds (Smith, 7/12).