THE Department of Health -- Mimaropa (Mindoro Oriental/Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) conducted a three-day mass screening for provincial and district inmates of Marinduque from Oct. 10-12, 2017.
Dr. Eduardo C. Janairo, DoH regional director, said the screening is part of their effort to eliminate tuberculosis and HIV cases in the region.
“It is important that all populations at risk must be screened. Mass screenings has been an effective strategy in reducing, and eventually eliminating infectious diseases in jails and prisons,” Janairo said.
“It is also important that these confined areas must be disinfected and sanitized to eliminate harmful organisms and ensure that these infectious pathogens will not be transmitted to inmates. Everyone has the right to be healthy even those being confined in prisons,” he further explained.
There were 155 inmates screened at the Marinduque Provincial Jail; 14 at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology Sta. Cruz District; nine from the BJMP-Boac District; and eight from BJMP-Gasan District.
Among the services provided were tuberculosis (TB), HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and mental health screening to be able to assess inmates for possible substance abuse disorder.
Janairo said the mass screening is needed to reach high-risk populations and facilitate the immediate and effective treatment of inmates with TB, HIV and mental health disorders to lessen the growing incidence of these health concerns in penitentiaries.
Disinfection and sanitation of all cell blocks were also done to ensure that all prison cells are properly cleansed. Hygiene kits were also distributed to inmates.
“To effectively control TB and HIV, no one should be left behind. One missed inmate can infect others, their visiting families and even prison staff. That is why early identification and successful management of persons with the disease is still the most effective means of preventing transmission,” Janairo stessed.
Results of inmates who will be diagnosed as positive will be sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine for confirmatory testing.
“They will also be given immediate treatment and preventive management,” the DoH official concluded.