By Ayo Ajayi
“Don’t spend your health to acquire wealth, if you do, you will end up spending your wealth on the health,” was the advice handed down to the professionals at the First Public Lecture/Seminar of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Ota Chapter on Wednesday 26th May 2021 at the Bells University of Technology, Ota.
Experts, who spoke on “Healthy Living and Library Science: The Path Way for Sustainable Engineering Professionalism,” also advocated regular reading to improve health.
One of the guest speakers, Dr. Felicia Yusuf, the University Librarian, Bells University of Technology, Ota, emphasised what she called ‘Bibliotheraphy’ which is the use of literature as a medium and reading as a means of health care and auxiliary treatment for the disease. “It is a method of maintaining and restoring physical and mental health through the comprehension of the prescribed literature,” she added.
The library, according to her is a hospital to the mind, and therefore, accessing the right information at the right time could be used for decision making on health, career development, and general life issues. “Books could be administered based on needs which could be emotional, physical, health and financial among others,” she explained.
Yusuf however, sounded a note of warning in accessing the right information on health.
“Health information seeking by professionals should reflect professionalism by depending on right sources, not words of mouth. It is pertinent for professionals to be cautious in digesting health information by evaluating sources based on authority and credibility, accuracy and reliability, currency and timeliness as well as objectivity and bias,” she explained.
The speaker also challenged the audience to read books on eating habits, relationships, general health habits, work ethics, and professional development, among others.
“We are in the knowledge economy and information is a factor of production. Health information is therefore inevitable for optimum productivity, longevity, and enduring career,” Yusuf advised.
Another guest speaker, Dr. Omolola Omotosho, an expert on food nutritional and environmental biochemistry at Covenant University highlighted healthy habits all professionals should imbibe in order to live long and productive.
She said, “Seek knowledge and make healthy decisions; avoid toxins; always count your blessings; improve personal hygiene and environmental sanitation to drive infections away; take more of fruits and vegetables to boost your immune system; make water your number one beverage; exercise regularly and moderately; and regular medical check-up as well as adequate sleep.”
Omotosho also enjoined the audience to avoid diseases thrive in their environment and body, nothing that, “Diseases are like plants, they need a fertile soil and a conducive environment/atmosphere to thrive. You can make it difficult for disease to thrive in your body by regular hygiene,” she explained.
In her remarks, the Chairman APWEN, Ota Chapter, Engr. Dr. Imhade Okokpujie stated that the only sustainable way to practice Engineering with good innovation, design thinking, and entrepreneurship skills as a professional was to understand the significance of healthy living and library science. This subject, she said, was one gap that professionals do not consider necessary but which the Chapter decided to bring to bear as very significant to practising professionalism. “It is only the living that as the opportunity to practice professionalism,” she added.
She also revealed the plans by the Chapter to touch lives, particularly, development of girl-child education, and enjoined individual and corporate organisations to collaborate with the Chapter in order to push through the community development programmes.
Other notable guests at the event included the Ota Branch Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Dr. F. I. Apeh, Deputy Dean, Dr. Olusanya Olamide College of Engineering, Engr. Ezugwu Chinedu, Prof. O. A. Agbede from University of Ibadan. Also, Present was the APWEN Ota Chapter Executives, along with NSE Ota Branch Members. The members of the Bells University of Technology, Ota, and the students of the institution.