Policing cop’s health

Policing cop’s health

Stress is a known killer. Physicians often trace sickness and other physical health problems to psychological reasons, occupational stress being the most widespread and lethal of them. And the occupation that is among the most stressful is police work. Just consider the work that police personnel are involved in and you won’t envy them. Crime and violence surround them and they are always needed in ominous situations. While police workforce is trained for the job, we often forget that they are only human and are not immune from the horrors, conflicts and miseries that they are required to deal with daily. Because they work long hours in disagreeable circumstances and under tremendous pressure, it takes a toll on their emotional and physical health. The recent spate of suicides by police officers and constables as well as police crimes are evidence of the enormous stress that these public protectors are undergoing. To add to this, resources available to them are hardly worth talking about. So last week, it was welcome change when the police force of Thane got a dose of good health and sound advice at a health check-up camp.

On the morning of July 14, about 120 police personnel across ranks gathered along with their families at the Police Health Centre located near the old police commissioner’s office opposite in Thane. Thane’s Commissioner of Police, D Shivanandan inaugurated a diabetes centre for the police force. This was followed by a general check up and diabetes and lipid-profile estimation of police personnel and their families. Shivanandan also took the tests. It wasn’t surprising that 28 per cent of those tested returned higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. Diabetes is one of the most common stress-related disease and India is supposedly the world headquarter for diabetes.

In his address, Shivanandan advised his force to exercise control over their diet and also recommended a change in their lifestyle in order to be able to remain healthy and deal with the profession’s demanding requirements. Shivanandan hinted at starting a hospital for the force soon.

The camp, which was organised by the Welfare Department of Police in association with a pharmaceutical company and a local NGO, distributed free medicines that would last for a month. But the camp’s benefit will last longer than that. Monthly blood glucose estimation for the next 12 months and a full-year quota of medicines will be provided the police free of cost.

Doctors concur that in the case of diabetes, early detection is important as the disease leads to several complications such as heart disease, blindness, and kidney failure, along with circulatory problems that can result in amputations. With high incidence of diabetes in India and its relationship with stress, the regular blood sugar estimations are a small but significant step towards acknowledging the police personnel’s woes and keeping in mind that their human too. After all, the police force’s health needs to be policed too!

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