The Oyo State Government in partnership with Nigerian Medical Association and the Prisons service has organized a medical outreach programme to assess the health status of inmates at the Agodi Prisons in Ibadan.
Over 200 inmates with deteriorating health conditions like scabies, eye problems, urinary infections, renal failure, diabetes, hypertension, tuberculosis, and hernia were attended to in a medical outreach .
The inmates included those who remained on the awaiting trial list for a prolonged period of time owing to inability to stand for trial because of their poor health condition.
The medical outreach, a collaboration between the Oyo Ministry of Justice, state chapter of Nigerian Medical Association, Nigerian Bar Association and University College Hospital, Ibadan, was aimed at preventing the spread of contagious diseases among inmates and consider those due for amnesty to decongest the Prison.
According to the Attorney General Oyo State, Bar. Seun Abimbola, over 1,200 inmates now occupy what was built for about 400 and this has largely contributed to failing health for the inmates most of whom are awaiting trials.
Noting the long time required for prosecuting 900 awaiting trial cases, Oyo Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General stated that ” this exercise is aimed at identifying those qualified for discharge owing to their critical health condition or prolonged stay on awaiting trial list. This prison now accommodates more than 4 times its initial capacity and this needs to be addressed”.
He further mentioned that the exercise was to fast track the slow criminal justice system and intervene in those with elongated cases due to their deteriorating medical state.
Leading medical experts during the outreach, Dr Victor Akinmoladun who represented Chief Medical Officer, UCH, Professor Temitope Alonge, observed that many inmates were malnourished, while some had skin diseases, tuberculosis, severe eye problems, hernia among other ailments.
He specifically pointed out that some inmates were really sick and may not be able to stand trial.
The Oyo State branch Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Mojisola Atalabi-Oladele is optimistic that the exercise would facilitate a healthier prison environment.
She observed that ”cases of diabetes, hypertension, eye problems, skin scabies, have been detected . We are also testing for their unrien to check for diabetes and related ailments and we are also determining their HIV status.
Commenting after the outreach, Deputy Comptroller of Prisons, Admin, Oyo State Command, Omobitan Ademayokun stated that the prison services made the call for medical help owing to increasing number of inmates that needed medical attention, calling for more of such medical outreaches.
(Edited By Adekunle Luqman)