The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Development Company (UDC) on Monday with the aim of implementing a programme on health in the workplace as part of its ongoing efforts to promote awareness among the various groups in Qatar about adopting healthy lifestyles.
The workplace health programme is in line with Qatar Vision 2030 and in pursuit of the goals of the National Health Strategy 2018-2022 and Public Health Strategy 2017-2022, as well as the goals of the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Action Plan 2017-2022.
The MoU was signed by Acting Director of the Health Promotion Department at MoPH Dr Salah Al Yafei and Executive Director of Human Capital at UDC Nasser Al Harmi.
The MoU specifies the activities that fall within the workplace health program and provided by MoPH to UDC. They will be implemented in successive phases to guarantee the continuity of the programme beginning from the first stage. This includes the collection of general information from the company's employees and information related to their lifestyles in order to determine their health needs by filling in the programme's pre-questionnaire, which is sent via e-mail and is treated with complete confidentiality.
The second phase of the programme includes the launch of a comprehensive health campaign on separate days for male and female employees for early detection of risk factors for chronic noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and obesity. During the campaign, simple measurements such as weight, height, blood pressure, sugar and fat levels are taken, and all employee information is completely confidential.
Studying the results of the pre-questionnaire and analysing the health campaign data, the most common health problems among the employees will be identified. Based on this information, an action plan is drawn up for the first year of program implementation and is discussed with the company's liaison officer. It is a set of proposed activities and events to increase employee awareness of health patterns, as well as to make the work environment supportive and promote employee health.
As for the third and final stage of the program, the agreed activities will be implemented during the year with the participation of all employees, where a meeting with the company's liaison officer to discuss reports on the results of the first and second phases of the program. Then, the proposed implementation plan and activities are discussed within the program's action plan and the employees' participation in all these activities.
Dr Al Yafei said at the press conference that the signing of the MoU with the UDC to implement the workplace health program is one of the activities and efforts by the MoPH aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles and caring for the health of workers in various sectors. Dr. Al Yafei added that the goals of the program align with Qatar's strategy for public health, which is considered an executive part of the National Health Strategy 2018-2022 to enhance the health and well-being of the people of Qatar.
Meanwhile, Nasser Al Harmi stressed that the UDC will work on providing a safe and healthy work environment for workers in line with the efforts of the MoPH.
Launched by the MoPH in 2014, the workplace health programme aims to encourage all employees of government and semi-government institutions to acquire and exercise healthy behaviours in their daily lives, provide a healthy and safe health environment for employees, and correct some wrong practices they may have through early detection of risk factors for chronic noncommunicable diseases in program participants by measuring the rate of obesity, blood pressure, sugar level and blood lipids.
The programme is implemented according to an integrated plan that includes needs assessment, developing a work map according to the results in partnership with the beneficiary, implementing activities, and continuously monitoring the evaluation and upon completion of the program. The program focuses on taking preventative measures against illnesses through healthy nutrition, physical activity in and out of the workplace, smoking cessation and daily stress management tools.
The workplace health programme is also characterised by its benefits to have a positive impact on the health of employees by enhancing the health and safety of the work environment, raising employees' confidence and improving their morale, as well as easing work pressures, increasing job satisfaction, increasing health protection skills, improving health, and improving the feeling of wellness, in addition to the overall benefits of the participating institution in terms of providing a healthy environment for work, and promoting a positive image of the institution and its interest in its employees, increasing productivity and reducing the need for health care and treatment costs.
The MoPH has invited all government and semi-government ministries and institutions to participate in the programme that is currently being implemented in 12 institutions, adding that work is being done continuously according to an organised plan to add the largest possible number of partners to the program within the objectives of the National Health Strategy 2018-2022.
Cover image credit: The Peninsula Qatar
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