KENYA: Workers Risk TB in Gold Mine

 

NYATIKE, 6 April 2011 (PlusNews) – Timothy Omuya spends most days chipping away at stones in search of gold and inhaling fine particles of dust without protective gear in western Kenya’s mines. It was not a huge surprise, therefore, when he tested positive for tuberculosis.
His local hospital put him on TB medication, but his long working hours meant he did not stick to the schedule.

“At times I fail to take them because I don’t go in good time to take new ones from the hospital when I finish the ones I have,” he told IRIN/PlusNews. “Here at the mines, we work both day and night, so the time you are supposed to go and take your medicine, you are deep down in the mine.”

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What Omuya did not realize was the risk to his family; his wife and youngest child are now both infected. His wife Peres says she and the child adhere to their medications strictly, but fears that if Omuya continues to miss doses of his medication, he may re-infect them.

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