70,000 jail inmates to be screened for HIV

Data from screenings to be computerised, ensuring privacy, confidentiality

Our Correspondent May 28, 2024
70,000 jail inmates to be screened for HIV


Provincial Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Khawaja Imran Nazir announced the establishment of free medical camps in 43 prisons across Punjab.

This initiative, directed by Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif, aims to screen over 70,000 prisoners and jail staff.

The medical camps will conduct blood screenings for HIV (AIDS), Hepatitis B and C, blood pressure, diabetes, and tuberculosis. The data collected from these screenings will be computerized, ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of the inmates, Nazir added.

Speaking to the media after inaugurating a free medical camp organized by the Punjab AIDS Control Programme at District Camp Jail Lahore Hospital, Nazir emphasised the importance of this initiative.

He also inaugurated a Quran e-library during his visit to the District Camp Jail. Inspector General Prisons Mian Farooq Nazir, Project Director of Punjab AIDS Control Program Dr. Sofia Bilal, and CEO of PHFMC Dr. Asim Altaf accompanied the minister during the visit.

The minister interacted with incarcerated patients to inquire about the medical facilities available in the prison hospital.

He announced that the free medical camps would operate in all Punjab prisons from May 27 to June 1.

Based on the screening data, an effective treatment plan will be formulated for the prisoners.

Nazir also mentioned that if the screening is not completed within the scheduled time, the duration of the medical camps might be extended.

He highlighted the health department's efforts to revamp jail hospitals, converting them into model centres with necessary doctors, nurses, staff, medical equipment, and lab facilities.

The minister expressed gratitude to the IG Prisons for his full support in this endeavour.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2024.


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