Health professionals trained to promote, protect personal health in workplaces |20 January 2020
A group of 30 nurses and health professionals from community health centres across the country have been trained on promoting and protecting personal health in workplaces.
The health workers took part in a training organised last week under the Workplace Wellbeing Programme and which was hosted by the Ministry of Health at the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre conference room.
Also present at the launch and early morning sessions were outgoing Minister for Health Jean-Paul Adam and chief executive of the Health Care Agency (HCA) Dr Danny Louange.
Facilitated by policy analyst Dr Sanjeev Pugazhendhi and Dr Luis Campanella, a medical practitioner at the English River health centre, the training aims to guide the health workers in becoming health ambassadors in their workplaces.
It included educative sessions on exercise and diet, innovative and simple ways to support healthy staff lifestyles, stress management and improving mental health.
It has been estimated that the average individual makes use of health services at least six times a year with health professionals giving daily support and assistance.
Therefore, the ministry deems it important to implement initiatives such as the Workplace Wellbeing Programme to prevent stress and burnout within its personnel.
The Workplace Wellbeing Programme was first launched in September 2018 at national level where around six workplaces have had a go at implementing the programme.
“We hope to build our staff’s ability to better understand the principles of occupational health and health promotion which they can then go spread in their respective community centres,” Dr Sanjeev explained.
“Additionally, we also hope to train our health workers to screen their peers not only in terms of physical health but also mental health.”
According to Dr Sanjeev, the screening will ease the creation of a database consisting of the health profiles of all staff working with the Ministry of Health.
“Once we know what the main health risks are among our staff, it will be easier to develop the necessary targeted approach or policy to deal with these problems,” Dr Sanjeev added.
“For instance, we believe that there is an obesity problem among our staff in the ministry. We already have some information regarding this but we need to collect more details before we can say that this claim is true.”
Work is presently underway to formalise the Workplace Wellbeing Programme to ensure that it receives a budget.