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Govt plans to de-congest 17 prisons

03 April 2013, 13:20 Alloys Musyoka

The government is constructing dormitories at 17 prisons in the Coast region in its plan to de - congest prisons for the sake of reducing Tuberculosis infections.

The Assistant Director of Prisons in the area James Kodieny said that the new dormitories and a new prison constructed in Kaloleni district Kilifi county will help with the de - congestion of prisoners.

He said that most of the prisons are congested due to high number of prisoners and especially men, adding that this increases TB infections.

Addressing inmates at Malindi GK prison, Kodieny said that health experts have attributed TB infections among inmates to congestion in prison cells.

He said that all prisons across the region have developed a system of testing all prisoners being admitted to ensure that those infected are treated to avoid infecting their colleagues.

Kodieny urged prisoners to ensure that they give information regarding their health status during inter-prison transfers so that those infected could get medication as required.

International Medical Corps programme officer in the coast province Caroline Muramba said that they have so far trained 170 prison officers in the region on TB screening.

"Those trained in every prison have capacity to screen prisoners and always refer them for treatment," she told the media.

She also pointed out that since prison officers started screening prisoners before admitting them, TB infection rate has gone down.

Muramba cited Mtangani prison as one of the facility where the infection has reduced from 20 cases per month to 15 cases per year during the last two years.

She said that cases of HIV infection in prisons have also gone down compared to several years back because of the health programme that they started in prisons.

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