community builders:with Takemore Mazuruse
Your health is you wealth, so goes an old adage, and in times like this when the world is grappling with the effects of coronavirus (Covid-19), the saying rings even truer. Economies are tumbling and savings getting eroded as humanity grapples with one of its major global health scares since time immemorial.
The devastating effects of Covid-19 and how it has taken some of the respected world economies by surprise is a very clear indication that the majority of our governments, development players and organisations have not fully committed themselves and their resources to the health and well-being of their communities.
Focus has been on the commonly known health challenges, but never the bizarre and unforeseen. In most European countries, obesity has become a big issue and even in the face of coronavirus, the obese are some of the major casualties. This raises the importance of fighting for wellness in our communities through preventive health.
Lee-Anne Tsepo Hall (28) is a respected physiotherapist and social entrepreneur, who believes the world can be a better place if governments, employers and communities spare a thought for the health and physical fitness of their publics.
Speaking to Standard Style, Tsepo Hall, who is the co-founder and managing partner of Wellness Rediscovery, believes it is the duty of all mortals to take care of their health and we must all invest towards this goal.
“Wellness Rediscovery is a healthcare company with a footprint in preventative health and wellness as well as medical rehabilitative services. We strongly believe health awareness is a necessity and we are doing all we can to enhance knowledge about this,” Tsepo Hall said.
“Personally, I have a keen interest in the prevention and clinical management of back pain and I have since launched a unique evidence-based clinical protocol for conservative management of back pain. This is one of the many ventures we are undertaking towards health for all and we are geared for the long and bumpy ride ahead.”
Tsepo Hall, who is a part-time lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, says her organisation has deliberately launched a campaign called I’ve got your back, which has largely captured the attention of health insurance companies and large corporates.
“I hold a Bachelor of Science [Honours] in Physiotherapy from the University of Stellenbosch and I am studying for a Masters in Business Administration with the National University of Science and Technology,” she said.
“I am also a volunteer part-time lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and I am happy to say we have launched a highly successful wellness campaign dubbed I’ve got your back, which has received tremendous support from companies and large corporates.”
The campaign has seen those corporates partnering Wellness Rediscovery in establishing back pain programmes to mitigate the potential catastrophic costs that may arise from untreated back pain.
Having been born and bred in Bulawayo with a father originally from Zvishavane, Tsepo Hall spent much of her school holidays with her grandparents in the vibrant mining town and believes her multiracial roots have helped her appreciate community challenges better.
“I am of a multi-tribal background. My mother is Sotho and we are largely Ndebele-speaking, but have Shona cultural ethos courtesy of my maternal grandmother.
This has helped me embrace and shape my philosophy on our nationhood and oneness as Zimbabweans,” she said.
“I think I fit the definition of a true Zimbabwean because I can easily fit across all cultural norms. As a result, when I look at business, national development and how I can impact society, I look at it from an inclusive national perspective.”
Tsepo Hall, who grew up in a large family with differently gifted siblings, says she has drawn a lot of life lessons from her upbringing and believes she is duty-bound to embrace all and become of service to the communities around her.
“I grew in up a family with seven siblings. My parents then adopted two more children which meant we grew up in a full house. Growing up in a big family with many siblings was amazing. Each of us are unique, have different strengths and weaknesses,” she said.
“We try to be there for each other most times and I am grateful to our parents for creating an environment that enabled us to value and love each other. That upbringing has helped me better appreciate the diverse communities around us and the challenges they face, hence my undying commitment to the human services sector.”
Tsepo Hall’s focus is on developing a preventive healthcare social enterprise.
“The healthcare sector and global economies are grappling with potentially avoidable escalating healthcare costs and my mission is to influence this cost curve through promoting preventive health,” she said.
“Because of my background in physiotherapy, I have mainly focused on preventing and managing the physical, social and economic impact of back pain, which is an extremely common condition.
“We have, therefore, together with a multi-disciplinary team set up a facility for managing back pain and work with corporates, insurance companies and individuals in mitigating the socioeconomic impact of back pain.”
The wellness enthusiast also revealed that their programme has factored related preventive health programmes to ensure a wholesome approach to their wellness undertaking.
“We have also integrated other preventive health programmes to complement this programme by offering nutrition services, stress and mental health, fitness and general medical screenings as well,” she said.
“Our goal is to establish a nationwide programme and facilities as our contribution to the nation’s quest in meeting its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for health by 2030.”
The young doer also shared the various challenges that her organisation faces in its quest to empower communities and ensure health for all.
“Being young and a woman, we face a number of impediments in society and business. I am not going to dwell on the general challenges that young women face which are well known, but instead focus on challenges our enterprise faces directly,” she said.
“Our business is very capital-intensive, requiring specialised equipment, ICT infrastructure and is also human resource-intensive.
“Access to long-term capital is therefore important. Traditional financiers are sceptical to fund us because our business model has long-term yields and most financiers prefer short-term yields.”
She, however, thanked the partners that have come on board to support their initiative, highlighting they were very confident of their steps moving into the future.
Tsepo Hall, who is in the organising committee of the recently formed Zimbabwe Young Influencers’ Case Zero drive against coronavirus, said she would do all in her power to empower communities around her, but remains alive to the challenges ahead.