The leadership of Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), a non-governmental organisation, has paid
a courtesy call on the Director-General of Prisons at the Prisons Headquarters to deliberate on issues concerning
the health of prisoners in the country.
The acting Executive Director of PPAG, Mr. Albert Wuuddah-Martey, who led the delegation, disclosed that over 30 prison facilities in Ghana have, so far, benefited from the health programmes of the Association since 2001.
Mr. Wuudah-Martey commended the Prisons High Command and heads of the various prison establishments for their maximum co-operation towards the activities of the PPAG over the years. He also took the opportunity to invite the Director-General of Prisons to the upcoming PPAG advocacy meeting for Regional Commanders and Officers-in-Charge of the various stations.
On her part, the Director-General of Prisons (DGP), Matilda Baffour-Awuah, was full of praises for the Association’s initiative aimed at improving prisoners’ health in Ghana. She therefore assured the leadership of PPAG of her maximum support as far as healthcare of prisoners is concerned.
The DGP lamented the alarming prevalence rate of TB and HIV in the prisons, and made a passionate appeal to the wider society and other NGOs for support, since public health is a shared responsibility.
She also revealed that some prison officers contracted diseases with a few losing their lives due to the deplorable condition they perform their duty. “Prison health should be the concern of every individual because the prisoners will certainly return to the larger community after serving their sentences”, she added.
The Deputy Manager of the National Tuberculosis Programme, Dr. Nii Hanson-Nortey, who works in collaboration with the PPAG, observed that tuberculosis abounds in the prisons, and stressed the need to integrate TB and HIV health delivery in Ghana’s prisons.
This, he explained, forms part of PPAG’s new paradigm to improve prison health delivery in the country. “In view of that, the PPAG will expand its training programmes for inmates’ peer group and prison officers throughout the various prisons nationwide”.
Dr. Nii Hanson-Nortey, on behalf of the team, presented a copy of a proposal for intensive collaboration between the PPAG and the Prisons Service to the DGP, Madam Matilda Baffour-Awuah.
Other members of the Prisons High Command and Directorate present included, the Deputy Director-General of Prisons in charge of Operations, Mr. Mike Owusu-Amponsah; Director of Prisons in charge of Operations and Administration, Mr. Emmanuel Yao Adzator; Director of Prisons in charge of Welfare, Mr. Patrick Darko-Missah; Director of Prisons in charge of Technical and Services, Mr. Stephen Coffie; Deputy Director of Prisons, Mr. LKA Ansah; and Deputy Director of Prisons, Mr. Ali Dery.
Public Relations Unit
Prisons HQ, Accra