23 January 2019

Ethiopia: United Nation Agencies Launch 'UN Wellness Week' in Addis Ababa

United Nations agencies in the premises of Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) launched today the UN Wellness Week under the theme; "Embraces your health built by you!". The launch was kicked off in the morning by a Zumba exercise class that saw UN staff joining in to flex their muscles before heading off to the office.

WHO Ethiopia Representative, Dr. Rufaro Chatora, launched the wellness week. He urged UN staff present to do all they can to keep themselves healthy and also to contribute to make colleagues meet their physical, mental and social wellbeing goals.

"We have been victorious and praised for the 'smoke free environment' of UN-Ethiopia premises and we also honored with the global award last year in September 2017. Today we are here to launch the strategy set to build the foundations of keeping ourselves healthy by using the work place as an opportunity including the stairs climbing instead of the elevators, walking in the large compound regularly, watching what we eat every day and uploading a program on our computers to alert us for break," said Dr. Chatora.

He added; "We are responsible for our own health, hence let's make a change and demonstrate our decision by making it part of our life style."

For her part, the United Nation Health Clinic (UNHC) Head Nurse Ms. Kelemwork T. Kejela, advised staff to take the stairs everyday rather than the elevators saying this would improve their cardiovascular fitness, burn maximum calories and build bone strength, among many other benefits.

Various health promotion and disease preventive activities will continue throughout the week. These include lectures, waking in the premises and the launching of stair climbing exercises in Niger, Congo and Zambezi buildings where many agencies are based.

Each building has been named after famous Ethiopian mountains; Tullu Dimtu, Ras Dashen and Kidus Yared Mountain respectively. The Niger building stair climbing campaign was kicked off by Ambassador Peter Gabriel Robleh, a former ECA employee.

"Wellness is within you. It is something you have to embrace within yourself to be successful. It is calibrating your mind and mood and doing everything in moderation," he said. Earlier Dr. Chatora had led staff in official launching of the health expo in the United Nation Conference Center (UNCC) exhibition area where staff can go to get information about high blood pressure, diabetes, and learn about maintaining their health besides being tested for the non-communicable diseases.


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