MELODY MUPETA, Kitwe
KAMFINSA Correctional Facility (KCF) in Kitwe is operating without a psychiatric specialist to attend to the 28 mental patients that are remanded at
This came to light when Ministry of Home Affairs permanent secretary Chileshe Mulenga toured the facility on Saturday in the company of Zambia Correctional Services (ZCS) regional commanding officer Wilson Mbewe and Copperbelt commissioner of police Charity Katanga.
KCF commanding officer James Mbewe explained to Dr Mulenga that the institution has no psychiatric nurse to attend to mental patients.
Mr Mbewe said the only nurse who was deployed to the institution has been transferred, making it difficult for officers to handle psychiatric patients.
“I am requesting through your office [Dr Mulenga] to look into the issue of our prison not having a psychiatric nurse to handle the 28 psychiatric patients at our institution. It is difficult to stabilise our patients because there is no nurse to give them treatment,” Mr Mbewe said.
He said the facility also faces transport challenges and has inadequate uniforms for the officers and inmates.
And Dr Mulenga was surprised to hear that the facility has no psychiatric nurse and directed ZCS deputy commissioner general operations Royd Chilundika to ensure that a psychiatric nurse is deployed to the institution.
He also assured Mr Mbewe that he will have to contact the Ministry of Health should the facility remain without a psychiatric nurse by Friday this week.
Dr Mulenga promised to address the other challenges that KCF is facing.
He later officially opened the rehabilitated tuberculosis (TB) isolation cells at the institution.
The cells were rehabilitated by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) to enable the 18 inmates that have TB to receive adequate care and treatment.
Kamfinsa currently has a total of 2,546 inmates that are remanded at the institution.