SOLWEZI, ZAMBIA – Kansanshi Mining Assistant General Manager John Gladston has appealed to employees to accept the COVID-19 vaccination when offered. Mr Gladston encouraged employees at Kansanshi Mine to be ready for the vaccine, which would likely be available to them in the coming weeks.
Speaking during the World Day for Safety and Health at Work at Kansanshi Safety Centre, Mr Gladston encouraged all employees, when offered, to volunteer to receive the vaccination against COVID-19 and to follow the science on its efficacy.
“When the time comes please volunteer yourselves to receive the vaccine to afford protection against the effects of COVID-19; if you are in any doubt please follow the science rather than social media in your decision making” said Mr Gladston.
He said getting vaccinated against COVID-19 was proven to provide high levels of protection and drastically reduce the chances of hospitalisation due to the virus, especially amongst ‘at risk’ groups. This was especially true of the Jenner Institute/Oxford Vaccine Group vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca which is already being administered in Zambia.
He said the Kansanshi Mine Hospital, in partnership with the Zambia Ministry of Health, anticipated the roll-out of the vaccine in the coming weeks. In line with Ministry of Health protocols, health and essential workers would be vaccinated first followed by vulnerable and at risk groups.
“Along with clean water and safe sewerage, vaccinations remain one of the fundamentals of public health,” Mr Gladston advised employees.
Mr Gladston was delighted with the company’s Occupational Health and Safety Department and the diligence with which it has approached the pandemic; at the time of writing Kansanshi Mine had seen no new Covid-19 cases in the previous week.
The low transmission of the virus was due to strong measures put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus by the occupational health and safety department.
And Kansanshi Mining Safety Manager Teza Kasengele stressed the importance of this year’s theme for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work: Anticipate, Prepare and Respond.
Mr Kasengele commended employees in the Safety Department for being actively engaged in promoting occupational health and safety at Kansanshi Mine.
“I am happy to note that as safety practitioners, you have been very active in spearheading many activities in response to COVID-19 such as enforcing social distancing by marking floors, installing hand sanitizer dispensers in common areas and ensuring face masks are worn by everyone accessing the mine site,” said Mr Kasengele.
Mr Kasengele added that the screening process at the point of entry to the mine has been heightened to ensure that only employees who are fit for work are allowed to access the mine site, and that goes a long way in preventing occupational accidents and the spread of diseases that have potential to affect the operation of the mine.
He assured the safety practitioners that they have support from management in all they do and this was the reason why managers from various departments of the company left their busy schedules and joined the safety practitioners in celebrating the World Day for Safety and Health.