Implementation and Cost Analysis of a Novel Silicosis Case-Finding Program For Mine Workers in Rural Rwanda

Glob Health Sci Pract. 2024 Apr 29;12(2):e2300290. doi: 10.9745/GHSP-D-23-00290. Print 2024 Apr 29.


Little is known about the burden of silicosis in Africa, despite extensive mining and construction operations in the region putting numerous people at risk. The implementation experience and costs of case-finding for occupational lung disease in resource-limited settings are also currently unknown. We describe the first-ever silicosis case-finding project in rural Rwanda using chest X-ray, symptom questionnaires, and spirometry. This was coupled with routine noncommunicable disease case-finding for diabetes and hypertension. We performed an ingredient-based analysis of the costs of all case-finding activities. In 2022, over 25 days, 1,032 mine workers were included in the program, of which 1,014 (98.3%) completed silicosis case-finding activities. The total cost of the program was estimated to be US$38,656, representing a cost of US$37.49 per person. We conclude that conducting large-scale occupational lung disease case-finding is clinically and economically feasible in resource-limited settings and can be effectively integrated with routine noncommunicable disease case-finding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Miners
  • Mining / economics
  • Occupational Diseases / economics
  • Rural Population*
  • Rwanda
  • Silicosis* / economics
  • Spirometry
  • Surveys and Questionnaires