GETHSEMANE MWIZABI, Ndola
WORKERS Compensation Fund Tanzania has applauded the Zambian government for being one of the pioneers in the establishment of the workers compensation scheme in the sub-Saharan Africa.
In a letter to Workers Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB) commissioner and chief executive officer Elizabeth Nkumbula, director general of the Tanzania’s Workers Compensation Fund Masha Mshomba said his organisation has a lot to learn from the Zambian experience.
The director general commended the WCFCB commissioner for her outstanding presentation on the Workers’ Compensation Scheme in Zambia during the just ended Annual General Meeting in Arusha.
Mr Mshombo said Dr Nkumbula’s detailed eleboration of WCFCB operations and compensation benefits was enlightening and worth reflecting.
WCFCB is a social security scheme constituted under the Workers’ Compensation Act No. 10 of 1999 of the Laws of Zambia. It is a social insurance scheme to which employers in the public and private sector, except the State, make payments, otherwise known as assessments.
Its main objective is to compensate workers for disabilities suffered or diseases contracted during the course of employment.
WCFCB also provides for payment of compensation to dependents of workers who die as a result of accidents or occupational related diseases.
The Workers Act also provides for the investment of any surplus funds to generate additional income to ensure growth of the fund and to meet any contingent liabilities.
In addition to cash benefits, the board provides nursing care services to highly disabled beneficiaries (mostly bedridden) through regular distribution of medical items such as urinal bags; mobility aid through distribution of wheelchairs, crutches and facilitating regular periodical medical examination for beneficiaries with pneumoconiosis (an incurable lung disease caused by inhalation of fine dust particles in the mining industry) and TB,
The board reimburses employers all medical bills incurred as a result of treatment or hospitalisation of workers disabled by occupational accidents and diseases. These expenses should be reasonably and necessarily incurred.
“Through your presentation that was eloquently delivered, participants were enlightened with the Zambian experience in the provision of workers compensation services and the immense contribution of the Fund to the socio-economic benefits of a country,” Mr Mshombo said.
He said he was confident that being a new Fund, his organisation would benefit from the Zambian experience as the two organisations continue on a fruitful collaboration path.
Dr Nkumbula was invited as a guest speaker at the 1stAnnual General Meeting of Workers Compensation Fund in Arusha which attracted over 1,000 delegates.