Concern over number of PNG officers dying of natural causes

10:20 am on 6 May 2019

Police commanders in Papua New Guinea say they are worried about the number of officers dying of natural causes.

Papua New Guinea police.

Papua New Guinea police. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

In 2017, more than 80 officers died of natural causes on the job.

Sixty four died last year, and so far this year 10 have passed away.

The PNG police deputy commissioner, Raphael Huafolo, is leading a campaign to turn these figures around.

He said most of the deaths are from lifestyle diseases which could have been prevented if the officers took better care of themselves.

Superintendent Dominic Kakas said one of the first moves to improve police health will be to establish an in-house medical team.

"Once the medical team comes on board, once they are treating people, part of their duty will be to do awareness and so on for the members of the constabulary. Getting them to know what are good foods to eat, what certain types of food do to the body and so on and so forth."