SUVA, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Fiji's Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho called for a healthy police force after two senior police officers died of suspected non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on Tuesday.
The top police official said one officer passed out after he finished a fitness test at the Nasese foreshore in the capital of Suva.
The officer was taking part in a 2.4-km run when he collapsed and efforts to revive him failed.
The second officer was admitted at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital where he also died.
Qiliho said the unfortunate deaths of the two officers suspected to be NCD-related underlined the urgency in addressing the concerns with regards to the health of Fijian police officers as the institution is losing more than 10 police officers to NCDs annually.
He said that into the first two months of this year they have recorded seven police deaths, five of which were directly linked to NCDs.
Qiliho added that for the period from 2016 to 2018, 48 police deaths were recorded, of which 43 deaths were directly linked to NCDs.
He said that as the head of the Fiji Police Force he wanted to address the health of police officers through the Health Audits and Required Fitness Level Tests so that they were able to live beyond retirement.
Noting that NCDs were becoming a real threat to the health of police officers, Qiliho reiterated that he would not stop conducting the fitness tests and the mandatory health audits within the institution so it could lead to a healthier Fijian Police Force.