Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: Wealth Through Better Health

As of this week, FNB employees will have the opportunity to enrich their livelihood with the newly launched FNB Employee Wellness Policy aimed at improving and promoting healthy living.

FNB Group chief executive officer, Vekuii Rukoro said that employees are the most important part in any business and that is why they came up with the Employee Wellness Policy initiative. "The people that are working endlessly to make the company a success are the key strategic pillars in the business."

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Hon. Richard Kamwi, Minister of Health and Social Services said that health is the key to true wealth to any business and a country. "Health is paramount. It is a dynamic process which is ever changing, when our lifestyle changes, so does our health."

Kamwi said that Namibia's suicide rate is excessively high and so are teenage pregnancy rates, especially in the Kavango Region where they are at their highest. He said that all these factors including unemployment hinders health and in turn, the growth of the economy.

The minister emphasised the importance of health by adding that it is amongst one of the top government priorities. "The health sector received one of the biggest slices in the National Budget this year, in fact it is right behind education in terms of the money allocated to the sector as it is crucial to our development."

He said that much has been achieved in terms of fighting malaria in Africa and Namibia has become one of the leading countries in this battle.

An emotional Kamwi said that this year has been one of the most difficult years because of the deaths related to maternity. His ministry is addressing this issue to avoid any more maternity deaths.

He said although not all challenges can be tackled overnight, the health sector is systematically improving.

Kamwi furthermore applauded FNB for contributing to the improvement of the health sector before he officially launched the programme. The programmes within FNB's wellness policy are the Employee Assistance Program, the Stress in the Workplace Policy, HIV and Aids Policy and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy.

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