UNIZULU staff members will now have 24 hour access to financial, health and psychological advice and counselling, thanks to a wellness programme which goes live from the beginning of next month.
Dubbed Mpilonhle, the wellness programme gives staff members access to wellness services by simply dialling a toll-free number or by sending a “please call me” message.
Calls are attended by qualified consultants who are trained to deal with issues which may include physical, psychological and financial problems.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Xoliswa Mtose urged all staff members and their next of kin to make use of this service saying the University wanted to ensure that it has a healthy workforce.
Addressing more than 600 staff members who attended the wellness day event earlier this month, Mtose cited various studies which show that South Africans were increasingly at risk of dying prematurely from lifestyle diseases many countrymen were also over-indebted.
“If the majority of South Africans are drowning in debt and face the danger of dying early from preventable lifestyle diseases, the same applies to staff members at this University,” she said.
Mtose said the University had decided to spring into action as it realised that human capital remains one of its most valuable assets.
“A healthier, happier and more productive workforce at the University of Zululand would breed healthier and more productive students, future leaders and communities. It is for this reason that the University management takes very seriously the issue of employee wellness,” she said.
Radio talkshow host and social activist Criselda Kananda Dudumashe, who was a guest speaker at the event, encouraged staff members to live positive lives.
She spoke about her journey from the day she tested HIV-positive to how she has managed to live a fulfilling life as a mother, sister and most recently as a wife.
She encouraged everyone to get tested saying testing positive for HIV is not the end of the road.
Employee Relations and Wellness Manager, Thabo Labakeng, thanked the staff, exhibitors and other partners for making the event a success.
Companies represented at the event included Alexandra Forbes, Absa, Nedbank, Capitec, 4D Health, Bonitas, Bestmed, IEMAS, Specsavers, Shapes for Woman, Nirosh Optometrists, Educational psychology students, Department of Health, Old Mutual and Healthi Choices.
“A special thank you goes out to 4D Health, Bonitas and Bestmed for their donations and support,” said Lebakeng.
Staff members also participated in various sporting activities, health tests and lifestyle diseases screening were conducted.
Staff members who wish to use the service can do so by dialling 0800 111 150 or sending a please call me text message to 43821.