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Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34769551


Artisanal and small-scale miners (ASMs) labour under archaic working conditions and are exposed to high levels of silica dust. Exposure to silica dust has been associated with an increased risk of tuberculosis and silicosis. ASMs are highly mobile and operate in remote areas with near absent access to health services. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of tuberculosis, silicosis and silico-tuberculosis among ASMs in Zimbabwe. A cross-sectional study was conducted from 1 October to 31 January 2021 on a convenient sample of 514 self-selected ASMs. We report the results from among those ASMs who attended an outreach medical facility and an occupational health clinic. Data were collected from clinical records using a precoded data proforma. Data variables included demographic (age, sex), clinical details (HIV status, GeneXpert results, outcomes of chest radiographs, history of tuberculosis) and perceived exposure to mine dust. Of the 464 miners screened for silicosis, 52 (11.2%) were diagnosed with silicosis, while 17 (4.0%) of 422 ASMs were diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB). Of the 373 ASMs tested for HIV, 90 (23.5%) were sero-positive. An HIV infection was associated with a diagnosis of silicosis. There is need for a comprehensive occupational health service package, including TB and silicosis surveillance, for ASMs in Zimbabwe. These are preliminary and limited findings, needing confirmation by more comprehensive studies.

Infecções por HIV , Saúde do Trabalhador , Silicose , Tuberculose , Estudos Transversais , Ouro , Infecções por HIV/epidemiologia , Humanos , Silicose/epidemiologia , Silicose/etiologia , Zimbábue/epidemiologia
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260261, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34813627


BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. In low- and middle- income countries, they may be particularly impacted by underfunded health systems, lack of personal protective equipment, challenging working conditions and barriers in accessing personal healthcare. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, occupational health screening was implemented at the largest public sector medical centre in Harare, Zimbabwe, during the "first wave" of the country's COVID-19 epidemic. Clients were voluntarily screened for symptoms of COVID-19, and if present, offered a SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection assay. In addition, measurement of height, weight, blood pressure and HbA1c, HIV and TB testing, and mental health screening using the Shona Symptom Questionnaire (SSQ-14) were offered. An interviewer-administered questionnaire ascertained client knowledge and experiences related to COVID-19. RESULTS: Between 27th July and 30th October 2020, 951 healthcare workers accessed the service; 210 (22%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2, of whom 12 (5.7%) tested positive. Clients reported high levels of concern about COVID-19 which declined with time, and faced barriers including lack of resources for infection prevention and control. There was a high prevalence of largely undiagnosed non-communicable disease: 61% were overweight or obese, 34% had a blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or above, 10% had an HbA1c diagnostic of diabetes, and 7% had an SSQ-14 score consistent with a common mental disorder. Overall 8% were HIV-positive, with 97% previously diagnosed and on treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Cases of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare workers mirrored the national epidemic curve. Implementation of comprehensive occupational health services during a pandemic was feasible, and uptake was high. Other comorbidities were highly prevalent, which may be risk factors for severe COVID-19 but are also important independent causes of morbidity and mortality. Healthcare workers are critical to combatting COVID-19; it is essential to support their physical and psychological wellbeing during the pandemic and beyond.