DUT AIMS FOR A DISEASES- FREE ENVIRONMENT
By: Bliss Ndapasowa
Well-being is one of the most fundamental factors that inform any human occupied environment, especially the workplace.
In light of this, one has to be mindful of particular behaviours and dietary habits that might compromise this state.
Durban University of Technology’s Employee Assistance Programme, in collaboration with Student Counseling, took it upon themselves to address these issues within the institution, as it represents both a learning and working environment.
This was achieved through a health workshop themed, ‘Communicable Diseases at the Workplace,’ held yesterday in the Cecil Renaud Theatre at Steve Biko campus.
Influenza, HIV/AIDS, TB, Measles and Ebola were some of the diseases focused on by various speakers from diverse medical fields.
Claudette Jordan discussed myths surrounding transmission of TB and the consequences resulting from adherence to these.
“Conflict between traditional, cultural and religious backgrounds of people in a workplace may lead to stigma and discrimination of people infected. This may also lead to significant psychological and social impact which may cause social isolation,” she said.
She added that empathy is vital in a workplace and should be a two way street where the uninfected work together with the infected.
Dr Eseza Nambassi reiterated that there is a global health crisis since chronic diseases are on the rise. She added that dietary and lifestyle choices are evolving, leading to nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances. She therefore offered advice on healthy dietary habits to observe in the workplace which include avoiding carbohydrates, eating stale food and fats.
“High intake of caffeine and sugar may cause depression because of the strain on stress hormones which leads to exhaustion in the workplace,” she said.
Nambassi further mentioned that obesity rates are doubling every year.
Siyabonda Vumase, a DUT employee from Student Counselling and Health, said such workshops are helpful as they allow the discussion of things that the society is aware of but takes for granted.
Towards the end, attendees were encouraged to sharpen their controls and reflect on how organized they were in terms of dealing with workplace related diseases.