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General News of Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Source: GNA

Inmates contribute to buy medicine – Prisons Council

Rev. Steve Wengam Rev. Steve Wengam

The lack of drugs at the various infirmaries of prisons across the country is said to be impeding the provision of adequate healthcare to inmates.

The situation has become dire that the health centres have had to resort to the benevolence of the inmates at the prisons.

Chairman of the Ghana Prisons Service Council, Reverend Steve Wengam, who disclosed this in an interview with Citi News, described the situation as an unfortunate and said it requires urgent attention from the state.

“The truth is that we do not have drugs. It is so bad that inmates will have to contribute money and buy drugs like paracetamol and that when you go to the infirmary and you are not a contributor, you cannot be given any drug,” he lamented.

Meanwhile Rev. Wengam has made a case for the prisons to be provided with their own hospitals to meet the healthcare needs of inmates as well as prison officers and their dependents.

He decried the absence of a hospital for the nation’s prisons considering the number of inmates and prison officers that are currently in the system.

The Chairman of the Prisons Council further appealed for government and private sector support to facilitate the construction of a hospital facility.

“We have a vast land so we are calling for Public Private Partnership. We are appealing to government to help us to get a hospital as a matter of urgency. With 15000 inmates, 5000 prisons officers excluding their dependents, yet with no hospital, that is a shame for Ghana,” he added.

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has already announced plans of licensing the Nsawam prisons to submit names of inmates that are on the scheme for the payment of claims.

The NHIA’s move seeks to support calls for reforms proposed by the Ghana Prisons Service to improve the welfare needs of inmates to conform to United Nations standards.

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