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Ex-BCL miners are dying – and blaming gov’t for ‘false’ medical clearance reports

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  • They allege the mine concealed the truth about the reports.
  • Say the death toll of former mines speaks volumes over the medical clearance conducted when the mine shut down

SESUPO RANTSIMAKO

SELIBE-PHIKWE: Former BCL employees are claiming that the mine hospital might have flawed when conducting medical reports on its former mine employees when it was placed under provisional liquidation three years ago.
The continuous discovery of the deadly mine related cirrhosis disease, commonly known as cancer of the liver has raised doubts and suspicions over the BCL medical clearance procedures that were conducted on employees who worked in the underground mining shafts. Cirrhosis is the severe scarring of the liver and poor liver function seen at the terminal stages of chronic liver disease. The scarring is most often caused by long-term exposure to toxins such as alcohol or viral infections.
According to the former miners, the suspicions and doubts over the medical clearance reports is prompted by allegations that some miners are being diagnosed with cancer of the liver related to the mining environment, despite BCL doctors issuing them clean medical reports.
Defiant ex-BCL employees committee led by the Chairman Kagiso Setlalemore, his Vice Longayareeo Kombani as well as their Secretary General Kutlusiso Ketshabile, allege that the mine concealed the truth about the miners actual medical conditions.
“What is even more surprising is that the medical tests we conducted from private practitioners differ from the BCL ones, but when we confront the mine about these results they reject them. This is an indication that there is something fishy about the BCL medical reports,” the ex-BCL employee’s committee claims.
According to former miners a significant number of their colleagues allegedly died of cirrhosis while some are still battling the disease. They claim that the Committee is in possession of death certificates belonging to miners who succumbed to cirrhosis.
The Botswana Gazette spoke to a former miner (name withheld) who has been recently diagnosed with the disease. Speaking from his sickbed, the ex-miner alleged, “I was cleared of this disease, but shockingly last year October I started feeling weak and that is when I was told at the hospital that I am diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. Initially after being diagnosed I was hospitalized in Nyangagwe Referral Hospital. I was later released because they said I should be taken care of at home.”
The Botswana Gazette is in possession of a Death Certificate Number: D52/02071637/2018 which sugests that the particular deceased who was working as a mechanical foreman at BCL died of liver cirrhosis in December 2018 at Selibe-Phikwe hospital.
Similarly, the Committee said they buried three other ex-miners in the same period who lost their lives due to cancer of the liver. “Though we are yet to collect the death certificates we can confidently confirm that three ex-miners who were recently buried were diagnosed with cancer of the liver. Due to the continuous discovery of this deadly disease we therefore request the government to do a re-run of the medical clearance tests by an external medical practitioner. We are of the view that in the next 10 years, all people who were engaged by BCL will be no more, if immediate action is not taken,” Chairman of the BCL Ex-employee’s committee added.
Countless efforts to talk to the Minister of Mineral Resources Green Technology and Security Eric Molale were futile as his mobile phone rang unanswered and he did not respond text messages sent to him.

SELIBE-PHIKWE: Former BCL employees are claiming that the mine hospital might have flawed when conducting medical reports on its former mine employees when it was placed under provisional liquidation three years ago.
The continuous discovery of the deadly mine related cirrhosis disease, commonly known as cancer of the liver has raised doubts and suspicions over the BCL medical clearance procedures that were conducted on employees who worked in the underground mining shafts. Cirrhosis is the severe scarring of the liver and poor liver function seen at the terminal stages of chronic liver disease. The scarring is most often caused by long-term exposure to toxins such as alcohol or viral infections.
According to the former miners, the suspicions and doubts over the medical clearance reports is prompted by allegations that some miners are being diagnosed with cancer of the liver related to the mining environment, despite BCL doctors issuing them clean medical reports.
Defiant ex-BCL employees committee led by the Chairman Kagiso Setlalemore, his Vice Longayareeo Kombani as well as their Secretary General Kutlusiso Ketshabile, allege that the mine concealed the truth about the miners actual medical conditions.
“What is even more surprising is that the medical tests we conducted from private practitioners differ from the BCL ones, but when we confront the mine about these results they reject them. This is an indication that there is something fishy about the BCL medical reports,” the ex-BCL employee’s committee claims.
According to former miners a significant number of their colleagues allegedly died of cirrhosis while some are still battling the disease. They claim that the Committee is in possession of death certificates belonging to miners who succumbed to cirrhosis.
The Botswana Gazette spoke to a former miner (name withheld) who has been recently diagnosed with the disease. Speaking from his sickbed, the ex-miner alleged, “I was cleared of this disease, but shockingly last year October I started feeling weak and that is when I was told at the hospital that I am diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. Initially after being diagnosed I was hospitalized in Nyangagwe Referral Hospital. I was later released because they said I should be taken care of at home.”
The Botswana Gazette is in possession of a Death Certificate Number: D52/02071637/2018 which sugests that the particular deceased who was working as a mechanical foreman at BCL died of liver cirrhosis in December 2018 at Selibe-Phikwe hospital.
Similarly, the Committee said they buried three other ex-miners in the same period who lost their lives due to cancer of the liver. “Though we are yet to collect the death certificates we can confidently confirm that three ex-miners who were recently buried were diagnosed with cancer of the liver. Due to the continuous discovery of this deadly disease we therefore request the government to do a re-run of the medical clearance tests by an external medical practitioner. We are of the view that in the next 10 years, all people who were engaged by BCL will be no more, if immediate action is not taken,” Chairman of the BCL Ex-employee’s committee added.
Countless efforts to talk to the Minister of Mineral Resources Green Technology and Security Eric Molale were futile as his mobile phone rang unanswered and he did not respond text messages sent to him.

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