Rs 42m provided to combat AIDS inside prisons | Pakistan Today

Rs 42m provided to combat AIDS inside prisons

KARACHI – The Sindh AIDS Control Programme (SACP) provided a special grant of Rs 42 million for medical treatment of prisoners lodged in jails across the Sindh, while another 15 million rupees would be provided after the provincial chief minister approves a summary, argued officials of the health department on Wednesday before a bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC).
A single bench of the SHC, comprising Justice Ghulam Sarwar Korai, was hearing a petition moved by Syed Iqbal Kazmi that sought the provision of medical treatment for inmates in Sindh who were suffering from AIDS and hepatitis. SACP Project Manager Dr Qamar Abbas and Sindh Health Secretary Hashim Raza Zaidi appeared before the court to submit their comments.
Health Secretary Zaidi informed the court that funds had been allotted in compliance with court directions that were issued on November 30, 2010. Petitioner Kazmi argued that around 2,400 prisoners are lodged in Malir jail, but only 684 were examined by the SACP to determine HIV and Hepatitis – of which 34 were ascertained as HIV positive. He suspected that thousands of prisoners across Sindh are still suffering from such ailments.
Quoting the previous SHC order, the plaintiff maintained that the inspector-general of Sindh prisons was instructed that those who had completed their sentence but were suffering from AIDS or Hepatitis must be treated properly before release. Kazmi claimed that prison authorities did not comply with court orders, and thus far, 10 prisoners suffering from AIDS had been released.
Prison officials, meanwhile, are not able to provide accurate or correct information about those who had been released, while their negligence had led to the death of one such man. The applicant submitted that 40 inmates in three prisons of the city – Karachi Central Prison, Malir District Prison, and Women and Juvenile prisons – were suffering from AIDS but no appropriate medical treatment facilities had been arranged for them.
He argued that the number of affected will increase if the negligent attitude of the authorities concerned does not change. Earlier, a Malir district jail official submitted a report that revealed that there were 23 prisoners, including four Indian nationals, who had contracted AIDS. The officer admitted, however, that no proper medical facility has been provided to these inmates.
After hearing all arguments, the court adjourned the hearing but the next date will be fixed later.

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