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Saudi Arabia

Najran jail conditions help spread AIDS, TB

Government health officials in Najran have denied responsibility for the spread of AIDS and tuberculosis among inmates at the local prison, blaming instead prison authorities, who they say failed to implement their recommendations.
Authorities notified the local governorate after uncovering the extent of the problem.
The medical committee assigned to examine the situation on the ground found that the health situation in prison wards was unsatisfactory and on the decline. Health standards in quarantine rooms do not match regulations set by the Health Ministry, sources said.
While the committee said it did not examine staff or inmates at the prison for either AIDS or TB, TB appears to have spread through direct contact with other inmates who were infected with the disease.
The committee also found that most of the toilets in the quarantine area were faulty with the exception of a single toilet, which is used by all the quarantined inmates.
Officials also found hygiene standards among inmates to be poor and noted the absence of a company to disinfect the quarantine rooms.
Shaving tools for AIDS patients were also found being shared by other prisoners.
The committee has reiterated the need for prison officials to implement its recommendation to have four quarantine rooms, fix the suction fans and toilets inside the wards and separate AIDS and TB patients from others.
The committee also recommended that inmate beds be 1.5 meters apart and that there be no more than two prisoners per room. In addition, inmates should be regularly supplied with disinfectants, they suggested.
“Private companies should be deployed to ensure hygiene standards and inmates should be tested for viruses before being allowed to mingle with other prisoners,” said a source.

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