Zambian prisons “threaten public health” because of high rates of TB and HIV

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 27 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2225
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1London

    Conditions in Zambia’s prisons are so overcrowded and medical care so inadequate that they are breeding grounds for disease and pose a serious threat to public health, says a new report by Human Rights Watch, produced in association with the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa and the Prisons Care and Counselling Association.

    Researchers report that similar conditions prevail in much of Africa, where prisons risk becoming reservoirs of HIV and drug resistant tuberculosis.

    The Zambia Prisons Service employs only 14 health staff—and only one doctor—to serve its 15 300 prisoners. Of Zambia’s 86 prisons, only 15 had a clinic or sick bay, “many of these with little capacity beyond distributing paracetamol.”

    “Zambian prisoners are starved, …

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