Africa University on Friday the 13th of November 2020 held a staff wellness day that coincided with the eve of the commemoration of World Diabetes Day that was set for the 14th of November 2020. AU staff spent a day at the institutions’ sprawling sporting grounds where critical information on Diabetes care and prevention were shared by industry experts in the insurance and health sectors. In addition to this, a holistic approach offered tips on how staff could remain active and fit despite spending a large proportion of their time being sedentary due to the nature of work in the modern world and also how to choose the right foods that promote heart health and overall wellbeing.
Partners such as Econet Group (who showcased wellbeing products including Eco- Life insurance, Maisha Health Fund, Mars emergency evacuation services and Cassava Smartech’s innovative health solutions), OK Mart Mutare, CIMAS, Mutare Bottling Company, Surrey Group, Tanganda, MFS Mutare and Nyaradzo Funeral Services showed their support for the cause and exhibited products that were in line with the theme of healthy living for Diabetes prevention and care .
Diabetes has earned a chilling reputation as a silent killer. The disease is a major cause of blindness, amputations and kidney failure in the lives of those battling Diabetes. It is through raising awareness, providing consistent and correct information on the disease and enabling people to make the right nutrition and lifestyle choices that the scourge can be beaten and better outcomes realized pre and post diagnosis.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Mageto who delivered remarks on behalf of the Vice Chancellor Professor Munashe Furusa said, ” Wellness is critical for both staff and students. A healthy mind and body leads to greater productivity and a greater quality of life. As Africa University, health is of paramount important to us as we understand the bearing that an unwell community has on our output and the families of those who serve our great institution. Use this day to refresh, re- energize and reinvigorate yourselves !”
Guest of Honor and Key Note Speaker Mr. Edgar Mudokwani , the Regional Manager of Cassava Smartech echoed the key wellness message of the Deputy Vice Chancellor and went on to unveil the raft of products and services that Cassava Smartech offers. ” We have a wide array of services that are designed to look after your health and that of your families. Through constant innovation and international benchmarking, we have been able to create packages and products that are suited to every lifestyle. One of these is the Maisha Health Fund where we place our customers at the heart of everything that we do. Becoming your partner in health, the Maisha Health Fund provides you with fast, reliable and affordable health care.”
Access to reliable health care systems and infrastructure can make all the difference for people living with Diabetes where the effective management of the disease relies on the regular availability of medication, well- trained healthcare service providers and empowered patients who are educated about the disease and its management. According to WHO, only 8% of Africans have access to health insurance leaving many exposed and vulnerable when seeking treatment especially in relation to chronic conditions such as Diabetes that require constant monitoring and patient support.
The Diabetes and wellness commemorations featured a number of community building activities that strengthened the bond of Ubuntu in the community and shared responsibility for communal health. A highly competitive tug of war between departments and students provided an environment where camaraderie and sportsmanship were celebrated with the Department of Information and Communication Technology (ICT ) taking poll position.
Other events included a 100 meter sprint and Zumba to educate participants on easy, quick and enjoyable workout routines that they can engage in to stay healthy and active.
Africa University is committed to ensuring the health of its immediate community and those whom it serves through the Bishop Alfred L. Norris Health Center , offers testing facilities in collaboration with the Health Sciences Department in the College of Health, Agriculture and Natural Sciences to identify and combat chronic diseases among staff and students and to also educate the community on disease management, psycho- social support and life after diagnosis.
The EcoLife, Maisha Health Fund and Cassava Smartech are subsidiaries of the Econet Group.