The Deputy Minister of Health Social Services Esther Muinjangue has tabled a motion in the National Assembly on the need for workplace wellness in public service.
Muinjangue calls for information on wellness to be shared as part of the induction programme for new employees.
“I raise and take the floor to table a motion in this August House on the need for workplace wellness to be embedded in the culture of the Namibian public service,” she said.
The deputy Minister said it is vital that employers play an active role in improving the well-being of its employees.
According to her, employers have a social and financial responsibility towards the health of their employees.
Muinjangue stressed that risk of psychological effects from the Covid-19 pandemic is significant, adding that the need for psycho-social support services for employees cannot be underestimated.
She also suggested that an employee’s wellness should be included in strategic planning in the workplaces.
“That an employee’s psychological state remains a critical concept in the workplace,” said Muinjangue.
Muinjangue told the August House that human capital is often considered as an asset to most organisations, hence a typical workplace is likely to be non-existent in the absence of its human resources.
“This is why it is very important that employers play an active part in improving and maintaining the wellbeing of its most valued asset, the employees.”
In 2009, the Office of the Prime Minister introduced the public service workplace policy on HIV/AIDS. However, the deputy minister said it seems to look like not all ministries have implemented the public service policy on HIV/AIDS.
Namibia received an award from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in recognition of its remarkable progress towards reaching the UNAIDS 95–95–95 targets and progress towards ending the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2030.”
The award was presented by the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, who oversees the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
The award was received by the Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe.
“As a country, we are doing well in the area of HIV/Aids but despite this achievement there are other social issues that pose a challenge to the wellbeing of employees,” she added.
She however added thatCovid-19 has affected everyone at different degrees with long standing effects on employees in particular. Given this, she said, there is a need not only to have wellness programmes but also to ensure that they are run by the right people.
Muinjangue urged organisations to put increasing emphasis on employees’ mental health to improve their quality of life.
“An employee’s quality of life is the foundation of an effective workplace. Enhancing the employees life quality on mental health may bring organisational benefits.”
She also stated that there must be increased awareness and recognition of the importance of employee wellness programmes.
Muinjangue then asked that the motion on wellness in a workplace be referred to a parliamentary standing committee for further investigation.