The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Solomon Arase, has said that the Nigeria Police Force is considering conducting psychiatric test on recruits and serving officers. Arase stated this at the Nigeria Police Force Health Policy Revalidation meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said that the initiative became necessary following incidents of indiscriminate use of firearms by personnel of the force.
The I-G 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. It would be recalled that 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`.
He said that inadequate health workers, poor funding, infrastructure deficit and management deficiencies had been some of the challenges inhibiting the force’s medical unit. Arase 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.
“You all have been invited here today to review the Draft Health Policy for the Nigeria Police Force,“he said. On his part, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, promised the ministry’s assistance in the implementation of the policy. “We will assist in the implementation, we will ensure it happens,“Adewole said. He commended the police management for developing a health policy for its officers and their families.
In a remark, Dr Abdulmumini Ibrahim, Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), said that the policy was long overdue. He said that the council would help the police to build the capacity to handle the facility. 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.
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