Combating TB in Zambian prisons

ACCORDING to the World Health Organisation, a total of 1.4 million people died from tuberculosis (TB) in 2019, and the infectious disease remains one of the top 10 causes of death.
In Zambia, the picture is grimmer in prison facilities, which are poorly ventilated and in most cases hold more inmates than the intended capacity.
“Our cases (of TB) were more than 14 times higher than the cases found in the community,” said Chisela Chileshe, who is commissioner general of the Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS).
“Inmates and officers were taken to hospital on stretchers, you could count their ribs,” the commissioner general, who is also an experienced medical doctor, said.
Dr Chileshe said the prevalence rate of the communicable disease in prisons was 14 times (or 0.46 percent) higher than the national prevalence rate.
Addressing prison officials and inmates to mark 2021 World TB Day recently, Dr Chileshe said TB has been a major health problem in prisons.
“The inmates were neglected, the inmates were considered as if they had no life to live,” he said.
“They were secondary citizens, if they were sick no-one cared for CLICK TO READ MORE

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