NATION

Pacific Islanders Gain Skills From 4-Week Training

Twenty-seven-year-old Mar­gret Gelua of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) said the four weeks Pa­cific Physical Training Instructors Course at the Police Academy in Nasova was challenging. “I’m happy
02 Jun 2018 12:04
Pacific Islanders Gain Skills From 4-Week Training
Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho with graduates from the PPTIC Class of 2018 passout at the Police academy on June 1,2018.

Twenty-seven-year-old Mar­gret Gelua of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) said the four weeks Pa­cific Physical Training Instructors Course at the Police Academy in Nasova was challenging.

“I’m happy that it is over and I re­ceived my certificate,” she said.

Impressed with the knowledge gained she aims to impart them to her colleagues in PNG.

Olivia Eteaki from Houma, Tonga said the course was challenging and created a lot of interest.

The 22 course participants were from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Niue, Papua New Guinea and Ton­ga.

Closing the four weeks course Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho said: “when the invitation landed on my desk, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to see how the course would mould military and police students from around the Pacific to help build fitter and healthier Pacific police forces.”

Speaking on the health status of the Fiji Police Force and why this course was indeed timely he said the Force lost more than 10 offic­ers annually and their deaths were linked to what was now becoming the Pacific Island’s biggest health issue, non-communicable diseases (NCD).

“From 2015 to 2017, 42 police offic­ers died while in service,” Briga­dier-General Qiliho said.

What is alarming, he said was that out of the 42 deaths, 38 were NCD related, with the common cause be­ing cardiac complications.

He said the Force had since had several health audits.

In 2017, of the 2705 members of the force, who were screened, only 63 per cent personnel could be clas­sified as being healthy and having a low risk of having a fatal heart at­tack in the next 10 years.

The remaining 36.4 per cent he said had medium to very high risk of having a heart attack in the next 10 years, while close to 2 per cent or 45 officers were identified as high risk.

They have since undergone fur­ther screenings with the Ministry of Health to try to address their health concerns as soon as possible.

Edited by Percy Kean

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