National Institute of Miners’ Health (NIMH), city based autonomous institute under Ministry of Mines, Government of India, in collaboration with Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) organized Ninth National Workshop on “Detection of Pneumoconiosis and use of ILO Classification 2000” at Pride Hotel, Nagpur from June 10 to June 13, 2014.
The inaugural function of the workshop was held on June 10 at 10.00 am. The Chief Guest of the function was G P Kundargi, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, MOIL Limited and the Guest of Honour was Anup Biswas, Deputy Director General of Mines Safety, Western Zone. The program was attended by around 22 delegates from various mining companies. Officials from MOIL Limited, Directorate General of Mines Safety, Western Zone, Nagpur, JNARDDC and NIMH were also present in the function. Dr. S V Dhatrak, Sr. Research Officer, NIMH, introduced workshop course material while G S Ravindra, Assistant Director, NIMH, KGF, conducted the programme and Dr B B Mandal, Assistant Director, NIMH, Nagpur proposed the vote of thanks.
Dr P K Sishodiya, Director, NIMH, in his welcome address lamented that despite several workshops conducted by DGMS, NIMH for training of medical officers for detection of Pneumoconiosis by using standard ILO sets, detection and reporting of Pneumoconiosis cases are still not up to the mark. This is partly due to reluctance of medical officers and mine managements to report cases of Pneumoconiosis to the statutory authorities. He informed the delegates that there are large number of cases of Pneumoconiosis in the country and it is our ethical, moral and legal duty to report them to statutory authorities.
Anup Biswas, in his address, echoed the sentiments expressed by Dr. P K Sishodiya and was of the view that despite clear-cut provisions in Mines Act and subordinate legislations, it is very unfortunate that reporting of cases of Pneumoconiosis still not up to the mark as we would have liked and appealed medical officers and mine managements not to be afraid of reporting such diseases. He said that Pneumoconiosis is diseases caused by prolonged exposure to silica dust. He further said that healthy worker is an asset to company and nation and any physician who detects Pneumoconiosis must report to DGMS irrespective of the fact whether he is working in mines or not. He also appealed NIMH to conduct such workshops on regular basis and assured support of DGMS for the same.
G P Kundargi, in his address, congratulated the NIMH for completing eventful and successful 25 years of service to the nation and admired their relentless work for benefit of mine workers as well as mine managements. He said that detection of Pneumoconiosis in such a large quantum is an eye opener and medical officers should be encouraged and free to report such diseases to statutory authorities. Kundargi further stressed that along with occupational Health and Safety, there is growing concern for mental health such as depression, anxiety, and alcoholism and drug addition by miners. He also appealed to NIMH to conduct awareness programmes and training workshops on periodical basis not only for medical doctors but also for mine managers as collective effort is a need of the hour to make workplace free of occupational diseases. Dr. Kundargi also assured to support such programmes by NIMH at mine sites.
Pneumoconiosis, the disease:
Pneumoconiosis is an occupational lung disease and a restrictive lung disease caused by the inhalation of dust, often in mines.
Positive indications on patient assessment:
• Shortness of breath
• Chest X-ray may show a characteristic patchy, sub-pleural, bibasilar interstitial infiltrates or small cystic radiolucencies called honeycombing.
Pneumoconiosis in combination with multiple pulmonary rheumatoid nodules in rheumatoid arthritis patients is known as Caplan’s syndrome.
Pneumoconiosis results in about 125,000 deaths a year.