Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are of great concern among miners in Democratic Republic of Congo. This study sought to determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders and associated factors among Namoya Mining workers who attended the company clinic between January 2015 and December 2016.Method
The study utilised company clinic data to find out the prevalence of MSDs among mine workers who attended mine’s primary care clinic. Diagnoses of musculoskeletal disorders for the two year period were noted. Among those who had MSDs, other recorded data was extracted which included age, type of work, type of MSD, and management offered.Results
There were a total of 9753 clinic visits for the 2 year period of which MSDs accounted for 15.5%. In 2015, 877 (18.47%) MSD diagnoses were made of a total of 4747 who visited the clinic and 685 (13.6%) MSDs noted of 5006 clinic visits in 2016. Back pain was the most common contributing 82.2% of all MSDs while Work-Related Upper Limb Disorders (WRULDs) accounted for 8%. The most affected were aged 30–40, 78% and majority were shovel handlers (56%) and mining operators/drivers (42%). Over the 2 year period 1600 lumbar belts were issued and 7 surgical interventions done (discectomy) and over 10,000 100 mg of diclofenac sodium tablets prescribedDiscussion
The estimated prevalence of MSDs at 15.5% is high compared to data from USA which was 5% before technological advancements (1983–1984) and 4% after technological advancement (2003–2004). This might be attributed to the intensity of work. The management of MSDs can increase expenditure on medical and orthopaedic supplies and therefore need for preventive measures. Due to limited information recorded a comprehensive study is recommended to establish other related factors.