The Active Network Group of Emergency Life Savers (ANGELS), along with the City Police, will introduce a new health monitoring project named HELP (Health, Education and Lifestyle of Police) for improving the physical and mental health of the police fraternity in the district. The project, in its first phase, is expected to cover over 2,000 police officers.
T.P. Meharoof Raj, a chief coordinator of ANGELS who prepared the project outline, said the scheme would extend medical and counselling support to the police with the cooperation of selected hospitals in the city. The final list of hospitals signing up with the initiative would be announced on Monday, he added.
The plan of the ANGELS crew is to conduct a medical camp for police personnel in the city and prepare a detailed health profile for each, based on their age. The profile will feature details of all health hazards they face including high level of blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
“In the second phase, we will move to intervention programmes in which free medical aid and counselling facilities will be given to them,” said Dr. Meharoof Raj. According to him, the project is the first of its kind in Kerala which is exclusively structured for addressing the health concerns of policemen. Already, two rounds of discussions had been held with the police officers.
ANGELS office-bearers said District Collector P.B. Salim and City Police Commissioner G. Sparjan Kumar had promised all support to make the scheme a success.
According to Dr. Meharoof Raj, ANGELS have a good task force with doctors, clinical psychologists, psychiatric social workers and professional counsellors to implement the programme. “We hope that HELP will play a crucial role in making the police community more conscious of their mental and physical health problems caused due to occupational hazards and adopt appropriate measures to cure them,” he added.
In 2009, a pilot study named ‘HOPE' on the occupational hazards of police personnel was conducted in the city with the support of Indian Medical Association (IMA). The study, which was piloted by a team of doctors led by Dr. Meharoof Raj, had found that 50 per cent of the personnel were suffering from mental stress. But, the project lost steam in later years as no follow-up action was initiated on the findings.