The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has urged policy makers to amend the Health and Prison acts so as to address plights of children living in prisons with their mothers who would have been incarcerated.
BY HAMU MADZEDZE
Addressing journalists during a SAFAIDS media briefing, the acting health director for ZPCS Doctor Alford Dube said both the health and prisons acts are silent when it comes to the issue of children living in prisons resulting in malnutrition among the children.
Doctor Dube said there is need for policy makers to address this issue with the urgency it deserves as currently ZPCS is receiving food for inmates only living out children.
“Female inmates living with their children receive a single portion of food and they have to share with their children,” said Doctor Dube.
He said, “children never choose to live in prisons. It is something beyond their control, hence it is time for policy makers to amend these acts so that these children can live a better life.”
Meanwhile he added that there is need for more resources to be channeled towards the rehabilitation of the country’s prisons to enable the adoption of minimum standards for HIV, TB, Hepatitis B and C and Sexually Transmitted Infections Prevention, Treatment , Care and Support in Prisons.
“Availability of resources will ensure good prison health which in turn promotes good public health.” he said.
SAFAIDS programs officer Percy Ngwerume said there is need to send a message to all stakeholders on the importance of good health in prisons and the advantages of having quality health services in prisons.
ZPCS has crafted its national health and HIV strategy and it has implemented various health programmes which include ART services , HIV testing and counselling STI syndrome management and voluntary medical male circumcision among others.