The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal, launched the Financial Services Commission (FSC) Health and Wellness Week for its employees today, at the FSC House, in Ebène.
The event is an initiative of the Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance, and the Ministry of Health and Wellness, in collaboration with the FSC. It is being held from 03 October 2022 to 07 October 2022.
The Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, the Chief Executive (CE) of the FSC, Mr Dhanesswurnath Thakoor, the Chairperson of the FSC, Mr Mardayah Kona Yerukunondu, and other personalities, were present at the launching ceremony.
In his keynote address, Dr Jagutpal emphasised that this initiative by the FSC is in line with the policy of his Ministry as encouraging a healthy work-life balance at the workplace and cultivating a culture of good health and wellness can only be productive both for the FSC and its employees.
On this note, he recalled that last Saturday, a Health Promotion National Campaign was launched at the Phoenix Mall in order to do mass sensitisation and screening of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) around the island.
“NCDs are highly prevalent in Mauritius and represent 80% of the total disease burden and 60% of mortality in Mauritius.
According to the National Health Accounts 2021, which will be released soon, 8 billion rupees were spent on NCDs last year,” the Health Minister pointed out. Dr Jagutpal, therefore, indicated that his Ministry had shifted its focus from the curative aspect of NCDs to focus instead on Prevention and Screening.
Moreover, the Minister appealed to the population to adopt a healthy lifestyle and refrain from consuming harmful products such as cigarettes and alcohol and maintain a healthy weight by exercising regularly and eating fruits and vegetables.
“As Mauritius aims to become a High-Income Economy, enhanced productivity becomes a daily challenge, and very often, we tend to neglect our health and well-being in trying to achieve maximum productivity, thereby giving rise to chronic diseases, such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes and mental disorders related to stress,” he highlighted.
On this score, Minister Jagutpal underscored that his Ministry is leaving no stone unturned to curb this tendency via several initiatives.
These include: conducting a Non-Communicable Diseases Survey every five years; intensive screening programmes and proper management and prevention of NCDs throughout the island; a National Sport and Physical Activity Policy, a National Action Plan for Tobacco and; an Integrated National Action Plan for NCDs.
In addition, Dr Jagutpal encouraged the FSC to set up a Health Club within its premises in order to strengthen the physical activity programme and join the 22 Health Clubs that have already been set up in different institutions.
“I also urge all the staff of the FSC to participate in the blood donation day that will be organised on 07 October 2022 at the FSC in collaboration with Grant Thornton and the State Trading Corporation and to avail of the various screenings and health checks which are being offered today,” he said.
For his part, the CE of the FSC highlighted that in the corporate environment, it is a collective duty to ensure that the good principles of hygiene are translated within the organisation where we work, and it is incumbent for everyone to reproduce those good principles of hygiene in the workplace.
On this note, Mr Thakoor outlined some of the initiatives and programmes are undertaken at the level of the Commission to demonstrate commitment to health and wellness and provide a holistic approach to support the health and safety of its employees.
These include regular health checks and screenings; annual Blood Donation Days; Work-Life balance through flexible working hours; Organisation of events such as Family Day, End of Year Gathering; Health Talks on Healthy Eating Habits, Cancer, Stress Management and First Aid; Employee Assistance Programmes including the provision of professional psychologists and internal counselling services; ‘WeCare Inititiave’ whereby financial support is provided for medical treatment; Well-equipped and fully subsidised in-house gym; Weekly in-house Zumba sessions; Football matches; and, Promotion of healthy eating habits through the provision of fruits to staff on a daily basis.
Mr Yerukunondu, for his part, indicated that this Health and Wellness Week would allow the employees of the FSC to benefit from various health-promoting activities and remind them that they need to set aside some time for their own personal health and well-being.
The Chairperson also dwelt on some of the activities that will be held during the week, namely: health checks, health talks; screening for heart diseases and diabetes; and a blood donation day.
In a statement after the event, Minister Seeruttun recalled that the FSC had first organised its first Health and Wellness Week in 2019. “Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event could not be organised for the last two years, but today, with the assistance of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the FSC is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the success of this Health and Wellness Week 2022,” he pointed out.
This Health Week, the Minister underlined, will contribute to sensitising the employees and the population on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle through the adoption of several good practices. He also expressed hope that other institutions will follow the step of the FSC and cater for the health of their employees in order to contribute to the betterment of their workplace and the progress of their country.