Medical Research Council The Gambia (MRCG) on Monday opened its Wellbeing and
Health, Safety and Environment Awareness Week.
The forum held at the MRCG ground also witnessed the launching of the Workers’ Support and Solidarity Fund (WOSSOF).
The management of the unit also presented 10, 000 pounds sterling to the union to help administer the fund.
The initiative, they said, was to make money available to staff members who find themselves in financial crises owing to illness or some other misfortune which may unfortunately befall them.
Speaking at the forum, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Representatives in The Gambia, Dr. Desta A. Tiruneh, underscored the significance of the forum.
He said WHO this year, on the occasion of World Mental Health Day (observed on 10 October each year), was drawing global attention to the need to promote mental health at workplaces as a means of creating healthier workplaces for workers and their employers around the world.
The WHO, he added, believes that workers represent half the world’s population and are the major contributors to economic and social development.
Their health is determined not only by workplace hazards but also by social and individual factors as well as access to health services.
The MRCG Unit Director, Prof. Umberto D’Alessandro, added that his unit was committed towards the wellbeing of its staff and that they want to have healthy workers working in a safe environment.
“We want to empower our workers by providing them with information and options to allow them to adopt healthy lifestyles and also create a healthy and safe work environment,” he said.
The deputy director of Health Services, Samba Ceesay, said wellbeing and health, safety and environment awareness are important not only for the health of the individual worker but for the survival and productivity of the institution and agency.
Mr Ceesay stated that available data informed them that every year over 100 million workers get injured and over 200, 000 workers die each year in occupational accidents.