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Current Global Health Impact Assessment Practice
Open AccessArticle

Community Health Impacts of the Trident Copper Mine Project in Northwestern Zambia: Results from Repeated Cross-Sectional Surveys

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Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box, 4002 Basel, Switzerland
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University of Basel, P.O. Box, 4001 Basel, Switzerland
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Shape Consulting, P.O. Box 602, St Peter Port GY1, Guernsey, UK
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Pollution Research Group, Department of Engineering, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 4041 Durban, South Africa
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Nvumabaranda Public Health Services, Ndola, Zambia
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First Quantum Minerals Limited, Lusaka, Zambia
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Independent Researcher, Lusaka, Zambia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3633; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103633
Received: 23 April 2020 / Revised: 19 May 2020 / Accepted: 19 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
The application of a health impact assessment (HIA) for a large-scale copper mining project in rural Zambia triggered the long-term monitoring and evaluation of determinants of health and health outcomes in communities living in proximity to the mine. Three consecutive cross-sectional surveys were conducted at intervals of four years; thus, at baseline (2011), four (2015) and eight (2019) years into the project’s development. Using the same field and laboratory procedures, the surveys allowed for determining changes in health indicators at the household level, in young children (<5 years), school attendees (9–14 years) and women (15–49 years). Results were compared between communities considered impacted by the project and communities outside the project area (comparison communities). The prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum infection increased in both the impacted and comparison communities between 2011 and 2019 but remained consistently lower in the impacted communities. Stunting in children < 5 years and the prevalence of intestinal parasite infections in children aged 9–14 years mostly decreased. In women of reproductive age, selected health indicators (i.e., anaemia, syphilis, underweight and place of delivery) either remained stable or improved. Impacted communities generally showed better health outcomes than comparison communities, suggesting that the health interventions implemented by the project as a consequence of the HIA have mitigated potential negative effects and enhanced positive effects. Caution is indicated to avoid promotion of health inequalities within and beyond the project area. View Full-Text
Keywords: health impact assessment; malaria; mining; monitoring and evaluation; nutrition; schistosomiasis; soil-transmitted helminths; syphilis; Zambia health impact assessment; malaria; mining; monitoring and evaluation; nutrition; schistosomiasis; soil-transmitted helminths; syphilis; Zambia
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Knoblauch, A.M.; Farnham, A.; Zabré, H.R.; Owuor, M.; Archer, C.; Nduna, K.; Chisanga, M.; Zulu, L.; Musunka, G.; Utzinger, J.; Divall, M.J.; Fink, G.; Winkler, M.S. Community Health Impacts of the Trident Copper Mine Project in Northwestern Zambia: Results from Repeated Cross-Sectional Surveys. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3633.

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