Typhoid fever is a serious disease spread by contaminated food and water. Symptoms of typhoid include lasting high fevers, weakness, stomach pains, headache, and loss of appetite. Management of the disease remains an ongoing challenge at our Letsêng operations.
In 2017, we amended our approach to typhoid management to take into account the fact that the disease can be carried asymptomatically. To address this, we changed our screening procedure to include regular screening and testing of all staff engaged in high-risk areas such as catering. Staff who are identified as carrying the disease are then reassigned to lower-risk areas.
While this new approach resulted in an increase in the number of occupational health cases reported in 2017, predominantly due to an increase in the number of typhoid cases reported, we believe it is the right approach to prevent the spread of the disease. It should be noted that none of the cases of typhoid reported in 2017 reflected cases of symptoms presented on site, and rather this highlights the effectiveness of the preventative screening process.