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SES Newsletter | July 2021
Dear valued members,

June officially marks the halfway point of the year. It’s a great time to push pause and look back on the last six months. If you’re on track with any goals you may have set yourself for 2021, well done and keep at it. If you’ve realised that you’ve strayed off the path a bit, the good news is that it’s never too late to rewrite the plan and get back on track.

As always, we urge you and your families to prioritise your health, stay safe and continue to treat COVID-19 with the utmost seriousness and caution. Remember that we’re here for you for any COVID-19 concerns you may have. If it’s an emergency, please call the SES Call Centre at 737 /  +260 96 274 0300 / +260 96 941 6388, or if it’s not urgent, please send a WhatsApp to +260 76 203 1802 with your name and membership number and we will call you back.
Here’s what this month’s newsletter contains:
Health Corner: Go with your gut – How your gut health affects almost all aspects of your overall health and wellbeing
Product of the month: Offering your employees Group Life & Disability cover can help relieve their stress and boost their productivity
Feature article: All work and no play? Addressing burnout and work-life balance
        SES Clinics have partnered with Westgate pharmacies
Health Corner
Go with your gut
Did you know that your gut health plays an incredibly important part in almost all aspects of your overall health and wellbeing?
The micro-ecosystem of bacteria lining your digestive tract is called a microbiome. In the last two decades, an increasing amount of research has been done on the impact that our microbiome has on various aspects of our health, including our immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer.
Our immune system
As microbiologist Ana Maldonado-Contreras explains1, healthy bacteria in our guts help our bodies generate a strong immune response against viruses. They do this by ordering specialised immune cells to produce potent antiviral proteins that help to eliminate viral infections. 
Skin conditions

Skin conditions like eczema may be related to a damaged gut. According to Healthline2, inflammation in the gut (which can be caused by numerous factors, including a poor diet or food allergies) may cause increased “leaking” of certain proteins out into the body, which can, in turn, irritate the skin.

Not only that, but as the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation3 explains, stress and inflammation can impair the protective role of our skin. When this happens, more skin infections can occur and aggravate skin inflammation further.

Researchers have even started uncovering strong links between one’s gut health and one’s predisposition for certain food allergies (which is caused by an immune system reaction to certain foods) and also food intolerances2 (which are the result of difficulty digesting certain foods).
How can you cultivate a healthy gut?
Leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle is key. That means:

Eating a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables
Exercising regularly
Practising stress management techniques
Having a good sleep routine
The Mayo Clinic4 also cites the benefits of including the following in your diet:
Prebiotics – Food that the microbes in your microbiome need to help them grow (e.g. oats, bananas, sweet potatoes, and apples) 
Probiotics - Adding living microbes directly to your system (e.g. yoghurt, cottage cheese, probiotic supplements)
For the Mayo Clinic’s detailed list of prebiotics and probiotics, click here.

At the end of the day, the old adage of “you are what you eat” rings true, but really the secret lies in a much larger sphere of leading as balanced and healthy a lifestyle as possible, incorporating habits that are good for your mental and physical health.
Product of the Month
Offering your employees Group Life & Disability cover can help relieve their stress and boost their productivity
According to Virgin Pulse’s report, The must-have employee benefits in 2021, “Roughly 8 in 10 adults are grappling with money-related stress, impacting their physical health, mental wellbeing and ability to focus on work.”

Financial stress is on the rise, and never more so than in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an employer, it’s impossible to ignore the impact of stress and distraction on your employees’ physical and mental wellbeing and productivity levels.

Offering your employees Group Life and Disability cover, however, can help. It gives your employees – and their families – the peace of mind in knowing that should life take a turn in a different direction, their financial security won’t be compromised.

Whether you’re an employer who is new to employee benefits, or you’re looking for a competitive quote on your existing benefits, chat to us today. Call us on 737 or send an email to

Feature Article
All work and no play?
Addressing burnout and work-life balance
Do you often feel exhausted? Have a negative or cynical attitude toward work? Or perhaps you’ve noticed that your performance and output at work isn’t what it used to be?

If these warning signs resonate with you, you could be suffering from burnout. The World Health Organisation describes burnout as “a condition resulting from chronic, unmanaged workplace stress”.

Burnout often occurs as a result of working long hours and losing touch with your work-life balance. Burnout doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s important to understand that it also cannot be treated overnight either. Recognising and addressing burnout may take some time, and more often than not, you’ll need to make some serious lifestyle changes on your road to recovery.

These lifestyle changes could include5:

Speaking about your stress levels with a loved one, your supervisor at work, or even confidentially with a medical professional.
Setting boundaries with how much work can realistically do in a day, making sure to allow time for rest, relaxation and social activities as well.
Finding something fun to do (a hobby or an exercise) and making time for it.
Practising stress management (such as meditation, yoga, or writing in a gratitude journal, for example).
Eating healthily and prioritising an exercise regime to get those stress-busting endorphin hormones flowing again.
In order to help you evaluate your work-life balance is, we love this work-life balance wheel from Virgin Pulse’s 2021 Work-Life Balance Toolkit. Click here to download the PDF so that you can fill it out and see how balanced (or not) your own personal work-life balance wheel is. It might even help you to complete this with your partner or a loved one so that you can talk through which areas of your life need work, how you’re going to make some changes, and have someone supporting you and holding you accountable.
SES Clinics have partnered with Westgate Pharmacies

SES has partnered with Westgate Pharmacies for all of our pharmacy needs, effective as of last month for Lusaka and this month (June) for Kitwe. Westgate will operate in-clinic pharmacies from our Kitwe and Lusaka Clinics and you, our members, will now also have access to Westgate Pharmacies throughout the country (authorisation codes required). We believe this change will give you access to a wider range of quality medication at fair prices. If you haven’t already done so, please urgently send an up-to-date list of all of your chronic medications and import prescriptions to to ensure a smooth transition and to avoid any delays in receiving your medication.
Thank you. Natotela. Zikomo.
See you next month!
  1. The Conversation – A Healthy Microbiome Builds A Strong Immune System That Could Help Defeat COVID-19
  2. Healthline – What’s An Unhealthy Gut? How Gut Health Affects You 
  3. Canadian Digestive Health Foundation - How Does Your Gut Health Affect Your Skin?
  4. The Mayo Clinic – Good Bacteria For Your Gut 
  5. Forbes – Battling Burnout – How a Work-Life Balance Can Help Eliminate Stress
  6. Virgin Pulse – Work-Life Balance Toolkit
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