Leading converged telecommunications firm TelOne, kick started this year’s edition of their annual Wellness Fairs on a high note as it was well attended.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
The company’s employees drawn from Harare and all Mashonaland provinces thronged the TelOne Centre for Learning where the event was held. There were several organisations and companies giving their expertise on wellness issues
Running under the theme, “Employee Wellness Sound Investment,” the fair attracted participation from funeral Assurers, Stoke Brokers, Medical Aid Societies, Medical Aid Schemes, Herbal Products Distributors, and associations dealing with diabetes and cancer.
TelOne Managing Director Mrs Chipo Mtasa addressing attendants said they have employee wellness programs as a mandate.
“It’s a good part of us to be doing what we should be doing. It’s not an issue to be celebrating that we’ve done it well especially on my part as Managing Director, and on our part as the executive committee members.
“It’s actually an obligation that we need to continuously remind each other about being well and continually invest in being well. Because everything starts with us being well. We can speak of salary issues when we are well because when unfit there the thoughts of money are not usually there. You will be thinking about your family, what you did wrong
“Today is one such day when we want to invest in ourselves to be well. We want to be guided to where we should be going in terms of healthy lifestyles. The theme for this year is employee wellness, a sound investment. It’s a sound investment because we want everybody to be well. We are not looking at just technicians, the TW, or anybody but every one of us need to be well so that we can contribute meaningfully in our places of work or our homes,” she said.
The TelOne boss noted the importance of employee wellness fairs.
“Employee wellness fairs are done by many companies in the world with the goal of making employees aware of killer diseases, their signs and symptoms before being affected. This allows them to learn about the key preventive measures,” Mrs Mtasa said.
“To this end we have partnered several experts and I believe these experts will bring us interesting health perspectives that will broaden our knowledge and understanding of non-communicable diseases and take ownership and responsibility for our health.”
Employees were urged to desist from unhealthy behaviours.
“Evidence has shown that we largely engage in unhealthy behaviors which force us to consult unregistered practitioners.
“Sometimes we are in denial of our situation and when in denial we do things that are even worse, to even worsen our situation. We saying knowledge is power. To have knowledge is to be equipped. With this knowledge we are able to prevent some of the things that happen to us. Let us make use of the knowledge present to us.
“Wellness is the process of being aware of current existing health status and learning to make healthier lifestyle choices as well as positive behavior change,” said Mrs Mutasa.
Mrs Mutasa mentioned the benefits of simple exercises like walking the stairs.
“Let us not be in denial, exercise is good. Walking up the stairs can be beneficial to your health especially the heart. Going to the gym and even running or jogging, let us do it even with our families,” she said.
Healthy diets to Mrs Mutasa also contribute to a healthy worker.
“Other than healthy lifestyles, we also need to encourage each other on healthy diets. I think these days we are now being advised that large mounds of sadza are unhealthy. It is now recommended to have a small size.
“Some of us used to think that Tea is Sugar. You know these sayings that why get burnt with tea without sugar. But we are being reminded that excessive intake of sugar, starch cause some diseases. You can make good use of the vegetables we grow in our gardens.
“There were Cooking Oil queues. We need cooking oil but its not advisable to use in excess. These contribute to some illnesses which we fail to control.
She also said nowdays people are vulnerable to diseases which did not affect older generations.
“A lot of people have cancer due to change in lifestyles. Back in the day, our grandfathers had healthier lifestyles compared to what we have these days.
“Our grandfathers would have meet probably once a year. Our fathers probably once a month. Now our generation now want meat on a daily basis cooked with too much cooking oil.
“This could cause illnesses. We are just appealing to continue having healthier lifestyles and healthier choices. We do not forbid having fun at bars but let’s limit intake.
“Companies advertising beer say alcohol may be hazardous to one’s health. Let’s take note of all things said to be hazardous,” she said.
A wellness program is any program implemented by an employer to improve the health of its labor force. A good wellness program also helps “individual employees overcome specific health-related issues,” reports Gaebler.