Until recently the extractive industry has been largely unaware of the threat of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs), which have the potential to shut down entire operations. The 2014–15 West African Ebola outbreak changed this, drawing attention to the ramifications of disease outbreaks in terms of both human suffering and economic productivity. The Infectious Disease Risk Assessment and Management (IDRAM) pilot initiative in Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo, has focused on an assessment of the kinds of risk reduction measures in place among selected companies; the industry's attitudes towards infectious disease control interventions, and; opportunities for collaboration among multiple stakeholders. The initiative found that despite having infection and prevention control measures in place for workers in camps, extractive companies cannot control outbreaks by themselves due to the close interactions with local communities and weak local health systems. Results also showed that EID prevention and control plans benefit both the company and the community and can be feasibly implemented. Consequently, companies should strengthen their risk reduction role by properly assessing the health consequences of their projects through an integrated Environmental Impact Assessment. Finally, partnering with health authorities, other companies, and external stakeholders could help to prepare and respond to infectious disease events.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd
- Emerging infectious diseases
- Extractive industry
- Infection and prevention control