Sindh prisons without doctors


KARACHI – Thirty-four posts of doctors are lying vacant in Sindh’s prisons, where 42 doctors from other departments are working on contract basis.
This was disclosed during a meeting on jail reforms at the Sindh High Court presided over by Justice Amir Muslim Hani, the supervising judge for jail reforms.
Sindh Home Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan, Health Department’s representative, Inspector General (IG) Prisons Ghulam Qadir Thebo, the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) medical superintendent and the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) director also attended the meeting.
The IG prisons informed the meeting that 11 posts of dispensers are also vacant in jails due to which the authorities there are unable to provide sufficient medical facilities to prisoners.
Expressing disappointment over health facilities in Sindh prisons, Justice Hani ordered the provincial government to immediately recruit doctors for jail department through the Sindh Public Service Commission. He also directed to construct jail wards at the CHK and the JPMC.
The presiding judge asked the health department to depute a dental surgeon and psychiatrist at all central prisons of Sindh. The Health Department representative, present at the meeting, assured the judge of deputing both specialists to examine prisoners twice a week.
The meeting suggested appointing a carpenter as instructor at the Landhi jail, and extending the facility to other prisons of the province.
A recent report had revealed that there are at least 41 cases of HIV/Aids and 1,870 cases of Hepatitis B and C have among inmates of Sindh jails been reported till the end of last month.
There are three male prisoners, one of them a foreigner, suffering from HIV/Aids in the Central Prison Karachi.
At the Malir District Jail, there are 35 prisoners and two women, both foreign nationals lodged in the Special Prison for Women, reported to be carrying the Aids virus.
The statistics showed that in all 11,968 prisoners in 23 jails across the province were screened for hepatitis and 1,470 were found to be affected by the Hepatitis B or C.
A break-up of statistics shows that the Malir District Jail tops the list with 510 cases of hepatitis, followed by the Central Prison Karachi with 258 such cases.
The Central Prison Larkana has 214, District Jail Dadu 109, District Jail Sanghar 90, Central Prison Khairpur 66, Central Prison-II Sukkur 62, District Jail Shikarpur 37, District Jail Badin 18, District Jail Shaheed Benazirabad 17, District Jail Mirpurkhas 16, District Jail Jacobabad 15, Central Prison Hyderabad 13 and Special Prison Nara Hyderabad has 11 hepatitis cases.