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As part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and in an effort to tackle three issues that are highly detrimental to health and prevalent in Oman — obesity, diabetes and stress — Petroleum Development Oman’s (PDO) Recreation Centre Fitness Group’s ‘Change4Life’ campaign, which is set to commence on October 11, held pre-launch presentations here in Mina Al Fahl yesterday.
Medical experts addressed the audience that included PDO’s Managing Director, Raoul Restucci, departmental heads and staff members — including retired staff volunteers and members of the Fitness Group — on the importance of promoting healthy lifestyles and encouraging, not only PDO employees, but society as a whole to go for the right lifestyle choices.
Following on from the opening address given by Nutayla al Kindy, PDO’s Head of Communication, and the Managing Director’s speech, Naila al Rawahi, Ras Al Hamra Recreation Centre’s (RAHRC) Fitness Committee Member, gave a speech on ‘Pre-health Awareness — Change4Life’, in which she outlined the objectives of the campaign and the urgent need of tackling the deadly diseases.
Informative keynote presentations were made by Professor, Dr Hashem Al Kilani, from the Sultan Qaboos University’s (SQU) Physical Education Department, on ‘Your Body Has Rights’; Dr Samir al Adawi, Department of Behavioral Medicine, SQU, on ‘De-stressing — Be Happy’; Dr Mohammed al Lamki, Senior Consultant Endocrinologist at the Royal Hospital and Head of the Oman Diabetes Association (ODA), on ‘Stop Diabetes’; and Salah al Shukaili, Head of Nutrition and Dietetics Department, SQU, on ‘Today’s Diet Tomorrow’s Health’.
In comments given to the Observer, Restucci noted, PDO’s vision includes making a contribution to society. We heard today that it is about personal change, as well as how can we, as an institution, address things that are affecting so many people in the community, including people working with us, friends relatives and beyond.
Commenting on the focus of the presentations concerning diabetes, fitness and balanced diets, he said, we want to do our best to disseminate this message and help communities, because there is a desperate need and an institution like PDO can make a difference.
“We are looking to the team to understand how we can be most effective and we are committed to making a difference, added the Managing Director.
Al Rawahi pointed out, Change4Life was initiated to take care of issues affecting PDO, particularly obesity, diabetes and stress. We decided to tackle these pressing issues within PDO and eventually it will spill-over into the community where, as far as possible, we will also give assistance. She said, they have been able to bring together an effective team by contacting concerned individuals, outlining the campaign objectives and inviting them to come onboard. They have since come forward and devoted their time, given the presentations and offered support.
We need to sustain the interest in this campaign that will allow people to come in on the day of the launch and have their blood sugar tested, weight ratio measured and learn more about the importance of good diet, she said.
Hopefully, all of this will help promote a healthier workforce, not only in PDO but throughout Oman, so that it takes off some of the burden from the Ministry of Health, she added. She said, there is a need for volunteers and sponsors to come forward and lend their support. Thus far sponsorship has been given by Roche and some PDO contractors.
Outlined objectives of the campaign are to: promote health awareness, address issues that affect both PDO staff and the community and to sustain a long term initiative. The presentations were broadcasted live to all PDO PC desktops, attracting 1,260 online staff viewers who together with audience members participated in the question and answer session that followed the presentations.