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Medic alerts authorities to acute medical constraints at prisons

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By Saidou Baldeh

A medical officer has reported medical constraints at the prisons and called on the government and stakeholders to intervene.

In an exclusive interview with The  Standard, the medic who demanded anonymity, alluded that the budget allocated for the prisons cannot cater for most of their needs especially medical care for the inmates.

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The prison staff was speaking to The Standard on the sidelines of a medical outreach to the prisons by Ecomig Nigerian troops.

“I was even wondering how and where to get medicines for my patients today but Alhamdulillah the Nigerian troops have intervened. This is a big surprise to me,” he told The Standard.

According to him, the number of inmates recommended for treatment is huge and the prison has very litle medicine.

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“Some of these inmates will be risk if you skip a day without giving them,” he added.

Speaking on a variety of improvements they have made, he said: “Previously, inmates are taken to their prison cells without any medical checkup but that is a thing of the past now as anyone who is brought to the prison will first undergo medical screening to protect themselves , other inmates and prison staff from getting contaminated.’’

On the issue of female inmates, he explained that pregnant inmates are given social assistance by taking them to SOS until they deliver.

“We have helped to improve the conditions of the prison over the last years and we will continue to do that. Some inmates will spend their prison terms in the Prison Infirmary and they will never go to the cells until they are released because of their health conditions,” he noted.

“All inmates are checked to determine whether they have any health issues such as TB, HIV/AIDs, or any other infection so  that they are isolated from other inmates,” he explained.

The prison medic urged people to support the prison in anyway they could as the budget allocated could not meet their needs.

“Everyday people are coming to the prison, so it is hard to draw a budget for the prison because the numbers are unpredictable,” he added.

He continued: “We need health to cover the medical expenses of the inmates to ensure they are fit to serve their sentences. I call on everyone to support us because the government cannot do it alone and it is a collective responsibility.”

An inmate who spoke to The Standard also called on the government to help them as most of them are having medical conditions.

He also praised the prison medical unit for their outstanding transformation of the prison in ensuring the health of all inmates is not compromised.

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