One of the indispensable needs of prisoners in Nigeria is health care. Unfortunately, the healthcare needs of the most excluded group in the community, such as prisoners, hardly receive considerable attention in sub-Saharan African countries, especially in Nigeria. The poor health status of many prisoners in Nigeria has become a very serious cause for worry and has attracted the attention of many non-governmental organizations, including CAPIO.

As part of the activities to improve the health of prisoners in Nigeria, CAPIO received funding from the Missionary Sisters of Saint Peter Claver, to conduct a medical intervention in prisons across Enugu state. CAPIO’s prison medical outreach is a routine medical intervention geared towards bridging the gap in health care provision and maintenance in Nigerian prisons. As we may already know, the prisons are characterized by a gross lack of facilities, poor medical care, and poor health/sanitation facilities. The medical outreach is a quarterly outreach programme conducted in conjunction with individual volunteers and volunteer medical organizations, such as the Independent Charity Organization, led by a renowned Professor of Medicine. These outreaches are undertaken on a rotational basis and cover prisons in Enugu, Nsukka, and Oji River.  On 3rd November 2018, the medical team, led by Rev. Fr. Ambrose Ekeroku OCD, Executive Director of CAPIO, conducted another outreach at Enugu Maximum Security Prison (the most populated prison in Enugu State accommodating over two thousand inmates). A total number of two hundred and eleven (211) inmates received different medical treatments from CAPIO’s medical team of over 15 medical professionals. The majority of the health needs of the prisoner’s ranged from respiratory infection and diarrhea to mental illness, eye problem and skin diseases. The highlight of the programme was the gender sensitiveness with which female inmates were given equal attention as their male counterparts.

The intervention which started by 10 am inside the prison health clinic lasted for 7 hours. Many of the inmates had the liberty of opening up to the health workers on their respective health challenges. Appropriate health education and medications were administered to them. Medications, worth ₦186,000 were given to the inmates at no cost. Also, inmates whose prescribed medication were not available as at the time of the outreach, received same the following week during CAPIO’s weekly prison visit.

The prisoners as well as the prison staff were thankful and praised CAPIO for their consistent supports towards the welfare and health of prisoners. They promised to continue to partner with CAPIO to engender effective prison administration in Nigeria. Do you wish to join CAPIO to provide medical care assistance to prisoners in Enugu State? We require the services of medical practitioners, ophthalmologists, nurses and medical lab scientists. Please reach us through our office line (08179228111).

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