A coalition of NGOs concerned with the welfare of prisoners and seeking to promote healthcare delivery in the country have raised alarm over the high rate of diabetes and skin infections among inmates of Kuje prison in the FCT.
The NGOs comprised Moole Charity Health Foundation, MCF, Health Beyond Barrier Initiative Group, HBBIG, and Conflict Free Nation, CFN.
Tolufase Tolulope, the Vice President, Health Beyond Barrier Initiative Group, told newsmen on Sunday in Abuja that the inmates are suffering mostly fungal skin infections and diabetes.
Mr Tolulope attributed the skin infections and diabetes to poor hygiene.
“We recorded high numbers of fungal skin infection due to poor hygiene, diabetes is also high among the inmates; some of the prisoners are hypertensive.
“There are some of them whose blood pressures are 170/100, what that means is hypertension, being in prison does not mean that you should not be healthy,” he said.
Mr Tolulope said he was excited to identify with the prisoners. He added that more of such free health projects be executed both in prisons and orphanages.
“We are excited because we here in the most neglected place by the people to offer free health services to inmates, and we look forward to executing such services both in prisons and orphanages.
“As you can see, when we arrived here, the prisoners are happy to see us, in fact they are anxious to receive this service,” he said.
Johnpaul Nnakwe, the founder of Health Barrier Initiative Group, who is also a Nurse, advised Nigerians to join hands to solve health problems facing citizens instead of complaining.
According to him, he is fulfilled to reach out to inmates as a way of giving back to the society.
“Is quite unfortunate that government is not doing what it is supposed to do, but we can achieve a lot by concerted efforts as this, to solve our problems collectively.
“Everybody cannot keep on complaining that the country is bad, do what you can do to help the citizens, the best charity you can give is the one you do not expect to receive thanks,” he said.
The representative of Conflict Free Nation, Ikunaiye Khadiffat, expressed happiness with the success of the free medical outreach.
According to her, she was overwhelmed by the massive turn out of the prisoners to receive free medical treatment, adding that she felt good touching the lives of inmates.
The coalition deployed 20 nurses, 15 doctors, five laboratory scientists, five pharmacists for the free medical outreach and provided free drugs and toiletries to 400 inmates of the prison.