Government has appealed to United States President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) to seriously consider putting up a zonal health centre at Kabwe’s Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Centre for the
benefits of the inmates and other people.
Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo said during the official opening of Chipata Central Correctional clinic and the 2016 World Aids Day commemoration in Chipata yesterday that Mukobeko Maximum
Correctional centre had almost 4,000 inmates adding that putting up a health facility would serve a lot of people.
“With a risk sounding like perpetual beggars, I would like to appeal to PEPFRA to seriously consider putting a similar health facility at Mukobeko in Kabwe.The total number of inmates over there is around
4,000 and such a facility would serve a lot of people,” The minister said.
He applauded PEPFAR for fulfilling the promise it made in 2012 during the World Aids day that would be construct a K 2 million health facility at Chipata Central Correctional Centre.Mr Kampyongo said the opening was barely two weeks when a similar clinic funded by PEPFRA was also done in Livingstone.
He said the gesture by PEPFAR has come at the right time when the service has taken the correctional path to another level.The minister said the health for inmates was a priority which should be boasted towards modern health infrastructure and equipment.
He paid gratitude to the Zambia Correctional Service and other cooperating partners for the support.
Mr Kampyongo also said he was aware of the shortage of health facilities with the service currently relying on 24 facilities dotted in some selected correctional facilities.
He assured that Government would ensure that it moves in to recruit more uniformed health personnel.
Mr Kampyongo said the Government had seriously stepped in to look the affairs of both correctional officers and inmates adding that the ongoing construction of new facilities and officer’s houses were a
Speaking earlier, Zambia Correctional Service Commissioner General Percy Chato said the pledge made by the PEPFAR in 2012 symbolised that stakeholders in correctional settings were part of a bigger picture.
Mr Chato said the commissioning of the Chipata Correctional Centre mini-hospital symbolises that through the support by the PEPFAR that the Zambia Correctional Service was hands up for HIV prevention.
He said currently, the 75 health personnel administering health services to an ever-increasing number of inmates which hovers around 20,000 were not enough.And Eastern Province Medical Officer Dr Abel Kabalo said the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate has dropped in the province from 10.3 percent to 9.3
The function was attended by Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu,Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Dr Chileshe Mulenga and several others.