Only six inmates have undergone tuberculosis (TB) treatment at Mzuzu Prison this year, down from 14 last year.
Medical officer Moses Chigayo, who works at the prison, announced the drop yesterday during a TB awareness meeting organised by Story Workshop with funding from Global Fund through ActionAid and Project Hope.
Overcrowding, poor ventilation and undernourishment makes inmates in the country’s prison disproportionately vulnerable to TB.
He attributed the reduction to regular tests, saying inmates at the correctional facility are screened for the disease on arrival.
Prison authorities have trained some inmates to monitor and report their cellmates experiencing chronic coughs and other signs of TB.
“Three of the six cases have just been added the past two weeks,” said Chigayo.
Story Workshop project manager Ambele Kayuni Gogwe bemoaned that inmates are often excluded from TB messages although they are highly vulnerable to the disease.
The organisation, which specialises in behavioural change communication, plans to reach 1.3million people nationwide using interactive theatre. n