- Partnership to raise health awareness in the workplace
- Non-commucable a leading cause of death in the world
- Cost of NCDs to Botswana economy at P13.2bn per year
Old Mutual Life Botswana and Storkfort Health have entered a partnership to respond to the challenge of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which are a leading cause of death in the world.
Old Mutual Life Botswana is pan-African investment, savings, insurance and banking company while Storkfort Health is an occupational health and consultancy services provider.
Speaking at the signing ceremony to mark the launch of the partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding in Gaborone recently, the General Manager of Old Mutual Life, Daniel Matlhagela, said the partnership will go a long way towards helping Batswana to manage potential health risks. The Minister of Health, Dr Edwin Dikoloti, was present at the launch.
“For us at Old Mutual, ‘mutual’ is not just a part of our name,” Matlhagela said. “We believe in commonality and a shared experience. It is a promise we make to those we serve. That is why we felt the need to come up with a solution that helps Batswana address everyday wellness in the workplace.” He added that they are extremely concerned about the loss to families, businesses and the economy that results from NCDs when NCDs are preventable. The partnership should therefore, he added, help the two entities to better execute their value proposition to their mutual clients, including parastatals, corporates and SMMEs.
“We are committed to raising health awareness in the workplace to increase productivity and reduce absenteeism and presentism,” Matlhagela said. “This will benefit both employees and employers, as well as us, the insurer, by helping us to identify potential risks and put measures in place to prevent future losses.” To achieve these goals, he said, the two entities will undertake various activities, including health talks, medical screenings and financial education training.
For his part, the CEO of Storkfort Health, Mogwera Mokalake, said the core of the partnership is the concept of occupational health which plays a crucial role in protecting the physical and mental well-being of workers. “We will also be providing medical assessments that are an important component of occupational health services and play a vital role in addressing wellness in the workplace,” he said. “Through medical assessments, we will be able to assist employers in identifying and managing health risks before they become serious, thus promoting a healthy workforce and a safe working environment.
“At Storkfort Health, we are committed to providing comprehensive medical assessments to corporates and SMMEs, ensuring that they are physically and mentally fit for the job.” The Minister of Health, Dr Edwin Dikoloti, described health and wellness in the workplace as a growing concern in Botswana where an increase in NCDs like hypertension, heart disease and diabetes has been experienced in recent years.
“NCDs not only contribute to absenteeism and lack of productivity in the workplace but also to high healthcare costs, and are a significant socio-economic drain on individuals, families and communities,” the minister said. “The economic cost of NCDs to Botswana’s economy is approximately USD 1.2 billion (P13.2 billion) per year, which is equivalent to 5.92 percent of the country’s annual gross domestic product. “Therefore, we must work together to address these challenges and find innovative solutions to meet the changing needs of the workplace.”