The third United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is to “ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all, at all ages”. One of the crucial targets for this goal is “to reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through prevention and treatment and to promote mental health and wellbeing by 2030”. NCDs are the leading global cause of deaths in the working-age population (World Health Organisation, 2018; United Nations, 2019). The workplace has been recognised globally as a critical platform to tackle issues relating to NCDs (World Health Organisation, 2010).

Since the first reported case of a novel coronavirus in the city of Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province, the COVID-19 virus has flighted a global spread that resulted in the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring a pandemic of COVID-19 on 11 March 2020.

Premature deaths resulting from NCDs have collided with the COVID-19 pandemic and research has confirmed that pre-existing NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer radically increase the number risk of deaths from COVID-19 infection. If NCDs are not prevented and treated, COVID-19 can potentially infect an increasing number of people in the workplace resulting in a radical decline in employee wellbeing and productivity, and posing a greater potential health disaster for public and private organisations alike, where service providers, clients and other stakeholders may convene for various reasons.

Downstream consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak such as the lockdown restrictions, employee retrenchments, usually ill-equipped work-from-home scenarios and how employers have responded, will continue to have significant impact the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of employees for some time to come. Globally, employers are grappling with significant challenges, with initial focus being placed on workplace hygiene, social distancing and offsite working arrangements to ensure employee protection against the COVID-19 virus. As the virus continues to spread into the unforeseeable future, corporate policies around workplace protocols, onsite wellness initiatives, safety procedures and business travel will continue to evolve, and employers across all industry sectors must re-think their approaches to Workplace Wellness and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) practices.

A touchless, cloud-based and technology-driven approach to employee wellness and covid-19 risk management in the workplace is a unique value proposition that:

• Assesses employees’ risk to NCDs by providing online Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) and prevents the onset of NCDs using e-coaching programmes, wellness tools and resources;
• Uses touchless technology to assess COVID-19 risk, effectively curbs is spread and manages positive cases through coordinated virtual consultations by healthcare professionals;
• Improves employee wellbeing and productivity, resulting in the much needed positive impact on the bottom line;
• Ensures business continuity for organisations across all industry sectors as they continue to face harsh economic times as a result of the pandemic.

Well Nation Africa and QODE Health offer an integrated Wellness and COVID-19 risk management solution for employers across all industry sectors in Africa. This unique proposition enables industries to efficiently implement a touchless COVID-19 risk management solution with ease, while providing an online wellness programme that provides employees with the behaviour modification tools needed to prevent the onset of NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer as well empower employees living with chronic conditions to lead a healthier lifestyle
For a non-obligatory consultation and demonstration of the Wellness and COVID-19 Risk Management Solution, kindly contact:

Well Nation Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Contact No: +27 81 599 2449/ +27 81 522 9311

This article was compiled by Sandra Chadehumbe, Chief Executive officer (CEO) OF Well Nation Africa (Pty) Ltd.

1. Professor Daniel Malan and Ms Mpho Hottie; Reporting on Health and Wellbeing; The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and The University of Stellenbosch Business School (September 2019.)
2. Matthew Lawrence, Andrew F Cunningham and Debbie Falvey; COVID-19 Outbreak: Supporting employee wellbeing; Aon plc (2020).
3. The United Nations (UN); Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
4. The World Health Organisation (WHO); Global Health Risk Report (2018).

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