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‘Walk- to-Work’ campaign launched

Lerato Matheka

MASERU — Vodacom Lesotho on Friday launched a “Walk to Work” campaign aimed at influencing a healthy lifestyle among its staff.
The telecommunication’s health safety and environment specialist, Mamasia Tlalajoe, said the campaign was influenced by a United States Summit last year on the prevention and control of non-communicable and cardio-vascular diseases.
These include heart attack, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.
“The campaign is merely taking health out of the health services as the private sector,” Tlalajoe said.
She said Vodacom was taking the initiative to promote healthy lifestyles among its employees.
She noted that risk factors of non-communicable diseases include tobacco smoking, physical inactiveness, poor diet, unhealthy eating and alcohol abuse.
“We have smokers in the company and to ensure they are healthy we have put this programme to discourage them from smoking, but rather change their lifestyles to being health conscious.”
The Vodacom staff drove to Lower Thetsane where they left their cars and walked back to the their offices in town where they did aerobics and ate a healthy breakfast.
“We will be walking to Lower Thetsane after work. We will also be having more activities in line with environment and health to the rest of the country,” Tlalajoe said.
“This voluntary exercise will be done once a month. It will later involve communities as we are also about giving back to them.”
Tlalajoe said Vodacom was hoping other private sector organisations would think of their employees’ health for increased productivity
at the workplace.
She said the campaign was also aimed at raising awareness about other killer diseases in Lesotho besides HIV.
There were prizes up for grabs for the first five employees who arrive at the Vodacom offices.
Keketso Bula won the first prize of a mountain bike while the second prize of a workout machine was won by Khoase Mphuthing.
Cashena Mosoang won 5kg weights and gloves for coming third.
The fourth prize was a chest expander and table tennis paddles and the fifth was an exercise ball, hoola hoops and an exercise mat.
“The prizes were to motivate the employees and get them in the mood,” Tlalajoe said.
The chief executive of Vodacom, Malik Malelu told Xpress People the exercise was not only health-driven but a great team building exercise.
“The campaign is going to help Vodacom employees to be more productive because they will be healthy. With a productive team we will have the ability to service our customers,” Malelu.
“We are hoping they will carry the message to their homes.”
Malelu said the campaign was part of the company’s social responsibility.
“We are carrying out the message of healthy living not only to our employees but to our customers and the rest of the country,” he said.
Khoase Mphuthing who won the workout said he was thrilled to have the opportunity of exercising in the comfort of his home.
“I have a bulging stomach so it is a chance for me to get in shape at home. I only play soccer once a week but I know its not enough so the walk helped and hopefully we can do it regularly as a team, it is more fun,” Mphuthing beamed.

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