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Table 1 Selected indicators in women of reproductive age and their relevance to women’s health in the Trident copper mining project area, Northwestern province, Zambia

From: Selected indicators and determinants of women’s health in the vicinity of a copper mine development in northwestern Zambia

Indicator Definition/description Relevance to women’s health and the local project context
Percentage of anaemia in women of reproductive age Pregnant women: haemoglobin (Hb) < 11 g/dl;
non-pregnant women: Hb < 12 g/dl [40].
Anaemia is considered as a proxy indicator for general health and wellbeing. Anaemia has been associated with reduced work capacity, fatigue, reduced ability to execute routine daily activities, reduced cognitive function, poor pregnancy outcomes and negative effects on foetal and child health [41, 42]. Epidemiology of infectious diseases, access to health care and nutrition potentially change due to the project development which, in turn, influence rates of anaemia [26].
Percentage of women with past and current syphilis infection Antibodies to Treponema pallidum assessing past or current syphilis infection [38]. Syphilis renders women more susceptible to an HIV infection and increases viral loads in HIV-infected individuals [24]. Untreated syphilis causes perinatal deaths and congenital syphilis in children, which impairs child health [43]. High increases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) other than HIV have been reported in mining areas [44].
Percentage of women who delivered their last born child at a health facility Percentage of women with a child under 5 years of age who delivered their last born child at a public or a private health facility [40]. Increasing the percentage of births delivered in health facilities is an important factor in reducing deaths arising from complications of pregnancy provided a skilled attendant can manage complications during delivery or refer the mother to the next level of care in a timely manner [40]. The Trident project can influence rates of deliveries at health facilities through increased access because of improved roads or increased financial means to pay for maternal health services.
Percentage of women with comprehensive knowledge on HIV/AIDS Comprehensive knowledge means knowing that consistent use of a condom during sexual intercourse and having just one uninfected, faithful partner can reduce the chance of getting HIV, knowing that a healthy-looking person can have HIV, and rejecting the two most common local misconceptions, i.e. HIV can be transmitted by mosquito bites or supernatural means [40]. Correct knowledge can influence an individual’s ability to adopt safer sex practices, reduce stigmatisation towards people living with HIV/AIDS and alleviate misconceptions related to HIV/AIDS [40]. The increased spread of HIV/AIDS characteristic to mining areas has been widely described [40, 45]. In the Trident project HIA, the transmission of STIs, including HIV/AIDS, was identified as priority and an HIV/AIDS intervention package was implemented early on in the project development in the workforce and the communities [22] (see also health road shows below).
Percentage of women who believe HIV can be transmitted by witchcraft or supernatural means Belief that HIV can be transmitted by witchcraft or supernatural means [40]. Knowledge of HIV status is important for helping individuals decide to adopt safer sex practices and to reduce their risk of becoming infected or transmitting HIV [40]. HIV testing and counselling is one of the major health interventions supported by FQML in the frame of the health road shows.
Percentage of women who ever tested for HIV Percentage of women who ever tested for HIV [40].
Percentage of women who participated in a health road show A health road show is a 1-day visit to communities in the project area involving information, education and communication (IEC) and biomedical testing for HIV, glycaemia, blood pressure and malaria [22]. Health road shows are one of the major health interventions initiated by FQML. While uptake of biomedical testing offered at a health road show is recorded, the influence of the IEC campaigns has yet to be determined.