The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has said it has improved the environmental and health surveillance systems, as part of efforts to provide good health services for the well-being, protection and reformation of inmates.
Controller General of Corrections, Mr Haliru Nababa, spoke while declaring open the 2022 Service-wide training of frontline health and medical officers organized in conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Abuja.
Nababa explained how the Service was able to keep at bay the COVID-19 pandemic which reared its head in Nigeria in February 2020.
He said; “Globally there is an erroneous impression of the African penitentiary health delivery system. The NCoS has put on the global record a historic health service tribute that heralds the defeat of dreaded diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola Virus, Lassa Fever, cholera, and COVID-19 pandemic in Correctional centres.
“For the umpteenth time, I am glad to announce that there is no single cause of COVID-19 recorded in custodial centres in Nigeria right from when it was officially declared a pandemic till date!
“This feat underscores the rich culture of health practices within the Nigerian Correctional Service to the credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Indeed, such achievements do not come by accident. First of all, Professional Correctional Management with a focus on inmates’ protection plays a vital role.
“Secondly, a broad-based synergy of Correctional Service health staff and the entire health emergency preparedness response mechanism of Nigeria contributes richly to this globally celebrated health delivery status.
Furthermore, the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari, especially, plays important role in seeing to the seemingly wonderful health performances of the NCoS”.
Represented by the Controller of Corrections in charge of Water and Sewage at the National Headquarters, Mr RY Jatau added that the problem of drug supply is being tackled through special fund allocation for monthly pharmaceutical procurements.
According to him, the drug compounding centre at the Medium Security Custodial Centre MSCC in Kuje is another strategic Government investment towards ensuring the timely provision of quality drugs for inmates.
“Better days lie ahead as the Service embraces the Public-Private-Partnership for the production of drugs to meet the demand of the increasing inmate population.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Protection Coordinator of ICRC, Roger Frijelis said the International Committee of the Red Cross is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflicts and other situations of violence.
He said the aim of the ICRC is always to check the conditions of inmates and offer possible assistance where resources can accommodate them.
According to him, the partnership of ICRC with the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) on the occasion of frontline health officers training is to implement the health needs of inmates.
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