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Prison Service Lacks Medical Doctors   
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Matilda Baffour-Awuah prisons general
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The Ghana Prisons Service is currently without a single medical doctor to take care of inmates.

Majority of healthcare professionals within the service are made up of health aids, nurses and medical assistants.

There are more than 15,000 inmates in the 43 prison establishments across the country.

Quality health care

This situation has made it difficult to provide quality healthcare services for both officers and inmates as the few health professionals were taking care of the infirmaries where they offer first aid to inmates. Serious cases are often reffered to government hospitals.

The Chairman of the Prisons Council, Rev. Dr Stephen Wengam, who disclosed this to the  Daily Graphic in an interview in Toronto, Canada, said the prisons regulations enjoined the service to ensure that a medical officer visited the prisons at least, daily to attend to sick inmates.

"This is an area which requires a serious intervention if the service is to operate efficiently as the existing healthcare facilities in the prisons are far below the minimum standards for even the country let alone meeting international standards for keeping offenders," the chairman indicated.

"Worst of all the service lacks the needed funds to pay for the renewal of the National Health Insurance premium for both officers and inmates to enable them to access quality healthcare services at the general hospitals," he added.


Rev. Dr Wengam said the prisons and infirmaries at large lacked basic toiletries, like soap and disinfectants including drugs to promote basic hygiene. He said the deplorable situation had led to the spread of bed bugs in some of the prisons.

The chairman described the situation as unfortunate and underscored the need for immediate measures to be put in place to address the inbalance.

Source: Daily Graphic

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