ZPCS calls for the amendment of health and prisons Acts

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.