REPS LAUNCHES POLICE WELLNESS CENTRES
The Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) always prioritizes occupational health and safety of all officers within the organization and ensures that psycho-social support is readily available to those that are in need.
These were the sentiments of the National Commissioner of Police – Tsitsibala William Dlamini during the official launch of the Hhohho and Shiselweni Police Clinic facilities held in Mbabane on November. Dlamini noted that the nature of policing requires that health and wellness issues of officers should be catered for.
Dlamini stated that the clinics within the organisation started as a mere human resource welfare issue and have now become an essential instrument addressing not only the health issues for officers but also extend to members of the public. He explained that the decentralization of the health services in the REPS is in line with the Police Health Strategy 2016-2022 whose primary aim is the provision of high quality preventive, curative and rehabilitative services that are relevant and accessible.
Dlamini said the main aim is to cushion officers from the impact of sickness which leads to staff shortages due to low performance in the work place.He further challenged all police officers to adopt positive and healthy lifestyles by going for routine health check-ups, eat balanced meals, exercise regularly and keep fit as well as proactively attend to personal health issues. Dlamini highlighted that a combined total of seventy (70) police officers and 250 private patients are attended to in a professional environment in the four clinics on daily basis.
The National Commissioner went on to express REPS appreciation to the United States Government for always taking the initiative in leading from the front in all matters relating to health, particularly on HIV prevention and treatment. He further thanked the Ministry of Health for collaborating with REPS as the relationship has yielded positive results over the years. He further implored Government to continue providing the support needed in these facilities to help the REPS make a meaningful contribution to the health sector.
USA Ambassador Lisa Peterson commended the collaboration between REPS and the Ministry of health which led to the establishment of the Police wellness centres. She said it is through joint efforts such as these that vital health services are brought to communities. Peterson said health care in Eswatini, including that of members of the Police Service is very important and the US Government is proud to have partnered with the Ministry and REPS to make the project a success.
The two clinic projects were courtesy of the generous funding and technical support from PEPFAR in conjunction with EGPAF in terms of on-site refurbishment, furniture and medical equipment. The launching of the two facilities brings the number of Police Clinics to four as the Matsapha Police Academy and Ngonini OSSU clinics became operational in 2016.