Petra wishes to congratulate Dr Mpho Moloi, an Occupational Health Practitioner at Finsch, for being designated by the Minerals Council SA as a Women in Mining COVID-19 Hero, thereby joining a select group of women who were recognised as having contributed beyond their call of duty and made a difference to the lives of their colleagues and communities during the pandemic.
Like most people, Dr Moloi’s initial response to COVID-19 was feelings of fear, uncertainty and confusion. However, she quickly realised that as a medical practitioner she was a voice of reassurance and needed to face the pandemic with confidence. She equipped herself mentally and physically and took on the role of local custodian, helping those around her fight and guard against the virus.
Helping local communities and employees during a time of such uncertainty, Dr Moloi held daily consultations with anyone who needed help and was constantly reading and updating the Company’s standard operating procedures. She contextualised and simplified complex medical information which was then published throughout Petra’s communication channels to the benefit of all employees.
Dr Moloi was also available to answer questions and provide clarity on a 24-hour basis to curb misconceptions related to the virus. Dr Moloi foresaw the possible impact COVID-19 would have on mental health, particularly how it would impact the work and home environment. She guarded against stigmatisation by guiding the reporting of cases and made sure that the Employee Assistance Programme was equipped to deal with employees’ mental health issues.
Sharing medical information clearly and sensitively, Dr Moloi became the sounding board for Management, community members and employees as she kept herself up to date with the latest COVID-19 research. She liaised with all stakeholders to make sure that Petra remained compliant with legislation, whilst being sensitive to socio-economic challenges. She spearheaded a campaign to issue the flu vaccine to vulnerable employees and community members and visited a local school to help educators understand the necessary screening process for their pupils.
Dr Moloi saw the importance of working together to combat the effects of the pandemic and was instrumental in creating a forum that included the mines in the area and local community councillors. The forum conducted strategic planning to help local communities.
On a personal level, this was a difficult time for Dr Moloi. As a single mother, she had to endure being away from her two young children for extended periods and even with regular video calls and messages she felt disconnected from her family. However, her children inspired her to continue this important work. We are so proud of you Mpho!