Daniel Mainga, General Manager of the Pensions Division at Minet Kenya Financial Services, responds to a query at a Men’s Wellness Conference on health issues important to men. The conference convened by Minet Kenya aimed at addressing mental, physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual wellness. With him are Forensic Psychologist Dr Oscar Githus (c) and Pastor Simon Mbevi of Transform Nations.

Minet Kenya has launched a wellness programme aimed at encouraging an adaption of a healthy lifestyles and wellbeing.

Speaking at the launch the programme to Minet male staff, Minet Kenya Chief Executive Officer Sammy Muthui said the wellness program had been designed to improve the health and performance of employees, understand how to engage, educate, excite and motivate them to take personal responsibility for their health and make sustainable changes.

“A healthy workforce has a direct effect on the overall performance of an organisation. It is an aspect of health cost management that focuses efforts on maximising an employee’s general health and a decision a person makes to move toward optimal health,” Mr Muthui said.

He noted that a successful corporate wellness programme takes time and constantly evolves so it can be integrated into the fabric of the company’s culture, adding that it is culmination of many solutions that work together under one strategy.

 According to the Aon Hewitt’s survey 2012, eight risks and behaviours such insufficient sleep, poor standard of care, poor stress management, lack of health screening, smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption drive 15 chronic conditions such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, back pain, asthma, obesity, arthritis, allergies, sinusitis, depression, congestive heart failure, lung disease, kidney disease, and high cholesterol; accounting for 80% of total cost for all chronic illness worldwide.

“Minet Wellness Programme, in addition to tackling the eight risks and behaviours, aims to address mental, physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual wellness and create opportunities to learn and build support systems for employees’ co-existence and wellbeing. We are doing this starting with our own employees,” Mr Muthui said, adding that Minet would be working closely with various health and wellness experts as it rolls out the programme.

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“We have particularly incorporated mental wellness in our wellness programme because mental health disorders attributes to significant number of indirect deaths through suicide and self-harm. Suicide deaths are strongly linked — although not always attributed to — mental health disorders.  Mental health has an impact on physical health and vice versa. We believe that by providing health information to individuals we are helping them improve their wellness whether mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, or spiritually,” he added.

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According to  Our World in Data, it is estimated that 970 million people worldwide had a mental or substance use disorder in 2017. In Kenya, the prevalence of the Mental Health Disorders stands at 12%.

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