GPL advocates healthier lifestyle among its workforce

GPL’s Chief Executive Officer Albert Gordon 

The Guyana Power and Light Inc. has teamed up with health personnel to ensure that employees of the power company lead healthy lifestyles with according to the company will ultimately see them being able to provide a better service to customers by virtue of them being a healthy workforce.

A section at the staff during the seminar

In a statement released by the company on Wednesday, it was noted that the initiative was in keeping with its core belief of caring for the welfare of the staff.

Recently the company in collaboration with a private medical hospital hosted a chronic illness seminar for staff which was aimed at encouraging them to make healthy choices.

Under the theme “Your Health is Your Wealth”, Chief Executive Officer of GPL, Albert Gordon spoke of moves presently being looked at to ensure that facilities are in place to cater for staff workout after work and on weekends.

“We have started but we are not where we want to be. So the plan is to have gyms and clubs in place for staff to attend in the evenings and on weekends. We have to care for our staff and assist them with their health and well-being. That is why we brought in medical experts to make presentations on matters relating health and well-being” CEO Gordon noted.

Dr. Troy Sagon of the Ministry of Public Health’s Chronic Disease Unit spoke of the risk factors associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. He also cautioned that smoking, unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise and excessive use of alcohol does have implications for the development of chronic illnesses in the long run which ultimately leads to a decrease in productivity.

“The Chronic Disease Unit is working on policies that will force centers to include healthy meals as options. We want business places to also adapt that approach. I would like to encourage you to take advantage our free health care system in Guyana. Take your tests early and get the necessary treatment to prevent chronic illnesses” the release from the Guyana Power and Light quoted Dr. Sagon as saying.

Also engaging the workers was Dr. Rajiv Singh of a private health institution who spoke on the issues of the three main chronic illnesses, namely hypertension, diabetes and cholesterol.

He stressed that hypertension commonly known as ‘high blood pressure’ remains a silent killer and also could lead to stroke, heart attacks and kidney failure. Normal blood pressure readings should be less than 120. Between 120 and 129 this according to him reflects an elevation and at 130 and 139 the pressure is high and at stage one while at 140 and higher the pressure is at stage two. Anything higher than 180 is at crises level he noted. Less intake of slat was recommended to address this issue.

Diabetes and cholesterol were also areas which were addressed by the medical professional as he interacted with the staff of the power company.