Dialogue on the rising impact of non-communicable disease in Kenyan workspaces: A multi-sector dialogue

The Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development (ACORD), in collaboration with the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), hosted a roundtable discussion on “Private Sector workplace wellness programs in Kenya” on June 10, 2015 at the Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel. This brought together private sector actors in Kenya to interact with other stakeholders like the NCD Alliance Kenya (NCDK), Ministry of Health and the International Labour Organisation to discuss the importance of building comprehensive employees’ workplace wellness in private sector companies in the face of rising non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

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The roundtable, which was funded by the Stop AIDS Now! (SAN) presented an opportunity to acquire information, share best practices and develop working partnerships with organisations interested in designing or improving on currently existing HIV and AIDS workplace wellness programmes to include the rising concerns around NCDs. The roundtable also provided a platform for all participants to acquire more understanding about the national policies and programmes for tackling cases of NCDs that continue to threaten successes realised in workplace HIV-related interventions in the country.

Specifically, the meeting focused on national policies/strategies on NCDs; the role of the private sector; civil society organisations’ perspectives on the importance of a healthy workforce for Africa’s development agenda; the private sector’s views on innovative approaches to addressing staff health and wellness; and profit maximisation versus investing in human resource health and wellness.

Also Read: Panel discusses the role of the private sector in workplace wellness in Kenya

Notable companies invited for the dialogue included Safaricom Limited; Standard Chartered Bank; Barclays Bank; Airtel; Google Africa; Mabati Steel Rolling Mills and East African Breweries. Other agencies invited included civil society organisations like IPPF, FEMNET, Action Aid and World Vision as well as the World Health Organisation; International Labour Organization and government ministries included the ministries of Health and Labour.

The roundtable was expected to result in the establishment of a platform that the private sector can use to sustain workplace wellness programmes. It is anticipated that the dialogue will result in better knowledge and understanding of global and Kenya’s commitments and targets on the prevention and control of NCDs; learning and sharing on tackling NCDs at the work place shared by leading private sector companies; and increased visibility of private sector’s contribution to reducing NCDs in Kenya.

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