NEPAD pledges support for Zambia’s Occupational Health and Safety Regional Centre of Excellence
African Union Development Agency - NEPAD is supporting the Government of Zambia to fully operationalize the Center of Excellence at the Institute for Occupational Health. The Center of Excellence has adopted a multi-sectoral approach to address occupational diseases and injuries.
The center is also collaborating with research and training institutions to strengthen its capacity in research and training as well as the private sector. Its vision is to be “a world-class Center of Excellence in the provision of occupational health and safety services.”
This is envisaged to be achieved through providing quality and sustainable occupational health, safety, environmental and research services for the benefit of workers and members of the community.
The center is a result of the collaborative effort of the Ministry of Health through the Occupational Health and Safety Institute; the Ministry of Mines through the Mine Safety Department; the Ministry of Labor through the Occupational Health Services Department, and; the Worker's Compensation Fund Control Board.
The Center of Excellence is established in order to:
(a) P revent and Reducing occupational accidents and diseases;
(b) Promote and undertake occupational health and safety research;
(c) u ndake or evidence-based occupational medical surveillance;
(d) Provide compensation, rehabilitation and return-to-work services for workers in respect or occupational accidents and diseases;
(e) Develop and manage an integrated management system for enhanced productivity, organization performance and sustainability; and
(f) Build national and regional capacity for occupational health and safety.
Since its establishment in 2018, the Center has been equipped with state of the art equipment for the diagnosis of occupational lung diseases including state-of-the-art digital B reader equipment replaced the old x-ray film readers and digital X-ray machines .
The Center of Excellence is therefore a regional knowledge hub for the reading and interpretation of digital X-ray films for the diagnosis of occupational lung disease. It will also include occupational hygiene and silica dust laboratory analysis services; a complete package of medical surveillance; and referrals for treatment, rehabilitation, and compensation.
The Center of Excellence is already offering regional and national training for doctors, radiologists, occupational hyginists and occupational health and safety inspectors. Areas of focus for the training include classification of radiographs for pneumoconiosis, occupational hygiene, and occupational health and safety inspection.
These training courses are offered in collaboration with the South African National Institute for Occupational Health, University of Witwatersrand School of Public Health, Copperbelt University, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the USA, Southern African Institute for Occupational Hygiene, Workplace Health Without Borders (WHWB), University of Pretoria, and the AUDA-NEPAD.