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How to tackle influenza in Malaysia's workforce

Malaysia's influenza season is here and it has affected many Malaysians across the country, with the health ministry earlier noting a slight increase in cases this year, but assuring that numbers are still under control.

Nonetheless, a recent HealthMetrics study across four Malaysian industries (education, F&B, manufacturing and production, and financial services) has revealed this to be the most frequently recurring illness in the country, making up 47% of overall employee visits to clinics.

Thus, keeping that in mind, and noting that Malaysia has a sleep-deprived and overworked workforce, it is important for HR to take a step towards ensuring the health of their employees.

How HR can work with employees to combat influenza

Most importantly, HR leaders should advocate for employees to get the flu vaccination as soon as possible, as the immunisation is known to only be effective when administered to people who are not already ill.

After all, as the study has shown, taking timely vaccinations play a part in protecting firms and employees from incurring medical costs, and the risk of lower employee productivity.

One way HR can do so is to set aside time for employees to get the shots taken, and to educate employees on the different types of vaccination available.

Apart from the above, HR should, on a whole, hold information sessions to educate employees on the seriousness of the virus, and advise employees on the symptoms to look out for. Additionally, do advise employees who are unsure of their signs to seek medical attention immediately and avoid coming to work.

Photo / 123RF

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