We provide periodic health checkups and other relevant medical testing for the BMSC employees. One specific regional risk to worker and resident health is malaria. Only 21 employees and contractors contracted malaria in 2015 of which only 8 cases are Bisha camp residents. As a result of on-time and effective vector control measures, this year we had a record low incidence of malaria since the start of the operations back in 2011. The malaria threat at the Bisha Mine is an order of magnitude lower than West and Central Africa generally due to population, climate and lack of standing water. Dependent on the type of malaria (i.e. P. falciparum, P. vivax) these numbers could also include cases of recurrent malaria, but it is practically impossible to differentiate between a re-infection and renewed symptoms from a historic infection. Tests and treatments for individuals with the malaria infection were conducted at the onsite Bisha Mine Medical Center.
We undertake regular spraying within the Bisha camp and provide all resident employees with mosquito netting in their residences. We have reviewed our vector control program with the aim of reducing any unnecessary spraying because of its impact to the natural environment. We will continue to undertake targeted spraying in conjunction with the application of larvicides. Our malaria rate in the Bisha concession area, comparative to mining operations in other parts of Africa, is very low and illustrates the effectiveness of the ongoing program.