At the Nigeria Police Force Health Policy Re-validation meeting in Abuja on Tuesday 11 January, the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr Solomon Arase, said that the Nigerian Police Force is considering conducting psychiatric tests and establishing a Trauma Centre for recruits and serving officers. He said that the initiative became necessary following incidents of indiscriminate use of firearms by personnel of the force.
The IG said that inadequate manpower had exposed officers to working for longer hours. He said that the force was also considering establishing a Trauma Centre for its officers because of the nature of their job.
“The Police should be concerned about the mental health of officers,”he said.
Arase pointed out that inadequate health workers, poor funding, infrastructure deficit and management deficiencies had been some of the challenges inhibiting the force’s medical unit. He noted that in order to tackle these challenges, it was expedient to develop a health policy for the force. The development of any policy document entails an inclusive approach with relevant stakeholders and that is what the IG did.
“You all have been invited here today to review the Draft Health Policy for the Nigeria Police Force,“he said. The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole on his part, promised the ministry’s assistance in the implementation of the policy. “We will assist in the implementation, we will ensure it happens”. He commended the police management for developing a health policy for its officers and their families.
It would be recalled that Solomon Arase had advised Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) to always determine the mental awareness of officers before assigning firearms to them to curtail incidents of ‘accidental discharge’. The Nigeria Police Medical Service was established in 1975 with the primary mandate of providing health care services to serving, retired, family members of the force and detainees as well.
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