Jhumka inmates lack access to heath care

  • eastern regional prison
- Bedraj Paudel, JHUMKA (SUNSARI)

Dec 4, 2016-

Five hundred inmates have been suffering from various diseases in the eastern regional prison in Jhumka, Sunsari, according to the data of the jail administration. There are 1,531 inmates in the prison. 

Dinesh Ghimire, auxiliary health worker at the prison, said 60 patients are suffering from mental illness, 40 from asthma, 50 from piles. There are also 15 patients of tuberculosis in the prison, 20 of heart diseases and three of HIV-AIDS, among other patients, he said.  

The jail administration said they are unable to provide treatment to prisoners due to lack of budget. Jailer Ganesh Adhikari said Rs1.2 million provided annually by the Department of Prison Management (DoPM) is not sufficient for the treatment of all the patients in the prison. 

The prison data shows nine sick inmates have died due to lack of treatment in the last four months. Jailer Adhikari said they are taking sick inmates to hospitals once or twice a year. “We also take help from inmates’ relatives whenever we cannot provide further treatment,” he said. 

Auxiliary health worker Ghimire said many inmates are suffering from common cold, pneumonia, typhoid, dysentery and bronchitis. “Hospitals are not providing free treatment to the inmates nor are they getting proper attention in the prison,” said Ghimire, pointing out the lack of clinic and necessary infrastructure for the sick inmates in the regional prison. “I have been providing treatment to inmates in the meeting place [a place where detainees meet with their relatives],” he said. 

The jail administration has requested the DoPM to arrange for free treatment to the prisoners in the government hospitals. Jhankar Rawal, director at the regional office of the National Human Rights Commission, said the constitution of Nepal has also guaranteed prisoners the right to life. “If prisoners die due to lack of treatment, it’s a serious violation of human rights,” he said. 

Prisoner dies 

PYUTHAN: A 68-year-old inmate died in the district jail on Wednesday night. Nara Bahadur Roka, a permanent resident of Tusara-1, was taken to a hospital after he was to found unconscious in his cell, according to the prison administration. Police said Roka died while undergoing treatment at District Hospital in Bijuwar. He was serving time on rape charge.

Published: 04-12-2016 08:16

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