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SES Newsletter | March 2021
Dear members,

The good news is that our COVID-19 daily cases seem to be dropping somewhat. Although that certainly doesn’t mean that we should lower our social distancing defences and good hand hygiene habits, it’s a positive sign nonetheless.

Six countries in Africa have started rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations through COVAX (Angola, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Rwanda). Here in Zambia we eagerly await news of when our country’s vaccines will arrive. As soon as we receive any updates on this, you – our members – will be the first to know.

In the interim, we urge you to continue to lean on all of us at SES, to support your healthcare needs and concerns, and to remain safe.
Here’s what this month’s newsletter contains:
Meet the SES Team: Mrs Karen Hamusute Mulenga
Product of the month: Understanding the importance of life insurance
Feature article: Not sleeping well? Your smartphone could be the culprit
Stay up to date with the World Health Organisation’s Africa COVID-19 vaccination news
Do you follow the Zambia National Public Health Institute on Twitter for daily COVID-19 updates?
Meet the SES team: Karen Hamusute Mulenga
(Medical Assistance)
The very capable Karen Hamusute Mulenga has been with SES for over six years and works in our Medical Assistance department. She’s a people’s person through and through, and has loved being in customer care throughout her career.

Karen first qualified in Secretarial Studies, and then went on to study Social Work and Psychological Counselling, followed by a degree in Business Management. Not that she’s stopping there, however. She’s currently studying CII Insurance with the Chartered Institute of Insurance UK.
Considering how busy her daily work schedule is, we’re still not quite sure how she finds the energy to pursue her academics so relentlessly.

A typical day for Karen involves liaising with clients, understanding their medical needs, and arranging their full medical journey until the they are fit to return home, including facilitating clients international appointments, issuing GOPs, and making follow-up calls. It’s work that requires dedication, patience and charm – all of which Karen exudes in abundance.
Like many others, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly taken its toll on Karen. Although it has had emotional and financial impacts, it has also strengthened her faith. Spoken like a true optimist, Karen says that we all “have to hope for a better tomorrow”.

Having experienced SES’s medical expertise first-hand, when she was pregnant and suffering from preeclampsia, Karen says that she can honestly assure all SES clients that they’re in very capable – and caring – hands.

“I cannot commend the SES team enough for the fantastic care that I was given during my pregnancy. My premature baby, Caleb Chooba Mulenga, is now five months old and a happy, healthy boy, thanks to the world-class medical care I received from SES and the Medlands NICU. My whole experience was a great reminder that we have excellent, well-trained and experienced specialists right here in Zambia.”

When Karen’s not hard at work, servicing our clients’ needs, she’s happiest spending time with her family, especially when that involves trying out new Lusaka restaurants with her husband, or cooking at home and watching movies.

Product of the Month
Understanding the importance of life insurance
Life insurance is a decision you make once in your lifetime. It’s not an easy decision to make, largely because it forces us to imagine a world without ourselves in it; a world in which our loved ones and dependants might be financially ruined without our support.

If you’re struggling to make the decision to take out life insurance, here are three quick facts to give food for thought:
1 in 3 families admit a financial disaster would be more than likely, if not absolute, within a single month should the household’s breadwinner suddenly pass. For more facts like these, visit The Unisure Group’s website and download their free Global Mortality Report.

While the stats are certainly attention-grabbing, the good news is that life insurance can offer you the peace of mind that you took the necessary steps to protect those you love from potential financial ruin. Whether it’s to protect your family home, invest in your children’s future and education, or simply to ensure that your partner or parents will continue to cope with their monthly expenses, life insurance makes financial sense.

If you’d like to know more about our global life insurance plans (which are available to individuals and corporates), please contact us on 737 or send an email to
Not sleeping well?
Your smartphone could be the culprit
There’s no denying the impact that smartphones have had on our lives, but this at a cost to a good night’s sleep?

A recent study of over 1000 students at King’s College, London – the findings of which were published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry – uncovered that 38.9% displayed symptoms of smartphone addiction. On top of that, 68.7% of the addicts had trouble sleeping, especially those who used their phone after midnight or for four or more hours a day.

The theory behind smartphones and sleep disruption is that electronic devices emit blue light, which disrupts and blocks a hormone called melatonin (which is responsible for making us feel sleepy).

There’s also the factor of physical disruption to contend with. How many of us are guilty of sleeping with our smartphones right next to our bed? An article in Medical News Bulletin reported that those beeps in the night that wake us up disrupt a stage of deep “slow-wave” sleep. These kinds of sleep disruptions don’t only leave us feeling exhausted the next day, but they can actually also have negative effects on our mental and physiological health.

Not only can lack of sleep reduce your body’s ability to fight infectious diseases, but the Mayo Clinic reports that long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.

Although more causal research on the direct correlation between electronic devices and disrupted sleep is needed, this is a field of research that is gaining more and more attention, most likely as our addictions to our electronic devices gain more and more traction.

Three tips for a better night’s sleep
In his book The 4 Pillar Plan, Dr Rangan Chatterjee devotes an entire chapter to sleep. To summarise some of his advice, he wrote a blog post on the subject, giving his readers some great tips for a good night’s sleep, including:
No tech for at least 90 minutes before bed (because of blue light emissions and to reduce our mental and emotional stimulation, which often keeps us awake)
Drinking your caffeine before noon (we all metabolise caffeine differently, but if you’re struggling to sleep, there’s no harm in trying this tip for a week or two)
Soaking up at least 20 minutes of natural, morning light every day (to help you set your body’s daily circadian rhythm)
Whether it’s your smartphone or your afternoon cappuccino that’s disrupting your zzz’s, sleep is vital for good health and if you’re not sleeping well, you owe it to yourself to try get to the root of the cause.

For up-to-date news from the World Health Organisation on Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-outs, click here.
For daily updates of Zambia’s COVID-19 cases, recoveries and deaths, a good account to follow on Twitter is the Zambia National Public Health Institute.
Thank you. Natotela. Zikomo.
See you next month!
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