Commissioner of Police – Brigadier General, Sitiveni Qiliho has confirmed the passing of a senior police officer this morning during the routine Required Fitness Level Tests conducted at the Nasese foreshore.
The senior officer was taking part in the 2.4km run when he collapsed upon nearing the end of the route. The training instructors on site rushed the officer in a Fiji Corrections Service vehicle that was parked close by.
Attempts to revive him at the MIOT Private Hospital were futile as he was called to eternal rest.
My sincere condolences go out to the late officers’ family said Brigadier General Qiliho.
Rumours have been quick to spread about the absence of the Police Medical Team at the RFL site, which are absolutely false.
A team from the Force Medical Unit were on site in a fully equipped Medical Ambulance. They Medicswere at the start of the 2.4km route when tragedy struck, and as the Corrections vehicle was nearer to where the incident occurred, officers acted immediately and enlisted the help of the nearest vehicle owner to rush the late officer to hospital.
The RFL Tests are not new to the institution and have been enforced for over a decade.
Very few police deaths have been recorded at RFL test sites dating back to 2005, and the tests are conducted as a means of gauging and uplifting the health standards of police officers.
This is proving to be even more crucial over these past few years as Non-Communicable Diseases are becoming a threat to the health of police officers.
Two months into 2019, and we have recorded 7 deaths, 5 of which were directly linked to NCD’s.
The unfortunate deaths of two senior police officers this morning also suspected to be NCD related, underlines the urgency in addressing the concerns I have with regards to the health of our officers as the institution is losing more than 10 police officers to NCD’s annually.
For the periods from 2016 to 2018, 48 police deaths were recorded, and from this figure, 43 deaths were directly linked to NCD’s.
In 2016, 17 police deaths were recorded, 15 of which were linked to NCD’s.
In 2017 all 13 deaths were due to NCD’s and in 2018, 15 of the 18 deaths were as a result of NCD’s.,
As the head of the Fiji Police Force I want to address the health of our officers through the Health Audits and RFL Tests so that they are able to live life beyond retirement.
Too many officers are dying young and leaving behind young families because they did not take care of themselves.
NCD’s are becoming a real threat to the health of our police officers and I will not stop from conducting the Required Fitness Tests and the mandatory health audits within the institution if it leads to a healthier Police Force.