NGO In Collaboration With NHRC Donates Medicine, glasses to Correctional Centre

NGO In Collaboration With NHRC Donates Medicine, glasses to Correctional Centre

By Deborah Musa, Abuja

A nongovernmental Organization in the U.S. Gift Health Plus Incorporated, In collaboration with National Human Rights Commission, made a donation of 1000 reading glasses and 5000 doses of medicine to the Nigerian Correctional Service Headquarters in Abuja.

The commission stated that it is part of its job to visit detention, custodial centres and police cells to ensure those in custody receive treatment pursuant to international human rights standards.

The Chairperson Governing council, National Human Rights Commission(NHRC), Dr Salamatu Suleiman, said this on Thursday at the flag off, of the 2022 Nationwide Audit Of Custodial Centres and Detention Facilities in the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

Dr Salamatu explained that the importance of  inmates having access to good healthcare is unquantifiable.

She said “It is worthy of note that inmates in custodial facilities are entitled to enjoy general human rights including the right to good health pursuant to international human rights standards or best practices, thus, welfare and access to medical care for all inmates cannot be over emphasized.

She added that “The NHRC (Amendment) Act, 2010, empowers the commission to visit custodial centres, police cells and other places of detention in order to ascertain the conditions of these facilities and make recommendations to the appropriate authorities to mainstream human rights norms and tenets in their daily operations.

“The partner of NHRC at this event is Gift Health Plus Inc. Which is a non-profit Organization based in the United States and committed to protection of human rights of detainees”.

She added that the health team of the NGO making the donations will accompany the staff of NHRC through out the 2022 Audit.

“The Health team of Gift Health Plus will accompany the officials of NHRC through out the 2022 Audit of the custodial centres and detention facilities across the country to give pre-natal vitamins to female inmates and conduct eye screening exercise and give reading glasses to inmates that are in need”.

Also speaking, the Controller general of Nigerian Correctional Service, Halilu Nababa, Represented by the deputy controller general of Correction, Health and Welfare, Marylaurine Melchizedek Emmanuel, disclosed that even with the lean resources made available to Correctional facilities, the centre has ensured that those sentenced to a term in prison and those remanded as the case maybe, receive the needed care and support.

She added that the NCoS has flawlessly performed their duty in this regard which is notable in the pandemic era as there was “no single case of COVID-19 recorded from the Correctional facilities in the country during the peak of the attack and after.

She said “Section 23, 24 and 25 of the NCOS Act, 2019 clearly stipulates the obligation of the service to the health, physical and mental well-being of inmates. The NCOS has performed this healthcare obligations creditably for decades even amidst lean resources and excruciating circumstances .

“The NCOS attained a unique feat that set a global record by successfully recording a No Single Case Scenario at the peak of the COVID-19 global pandemic and thereafter.

Similarly, the several disease outbreaks, the service has been able to prevent these epidemics from spreading into custodial centres”.

She also noted that if the health of prisoners is compromised, the chances are that transmissible diseases can easily spread through these channels to the general public and with this, the health of inmates and

staff is always a priority.

The Executive Director, Gift Health Plus Inc. USA,  Mr Chamberlain Nwanne, stated that his organizations believes that basic health care is fundamental human right and this extends to inmates in Correctional centres.

He said “To this extent, we are happy to partner with NHRC to provide quality health services to the inmate of Nigeria Correctional services, across the country”.

Donation made by the NGO ranged from pre-natal medicine for pregnant women, anti-malaria medicine, anti-lice, skin rash medication, vitamins, Anti-hypertensive medication and Erythromycin suspension for children.