TB-infected convicts on the rise

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said from January to March this year, there were 231 convicts who entered prisons with TB. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said from January to March this year, there were 231 convicts who entered prisons with TB. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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PETALING JAYA, May 30 — The increasing number of convicts  coming to prison with Tuberculosis (TB) is alarming.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said from January to March this year, there were 231 convicts who entered prisons with TB.

“In March alone there were 79 of them,” he told the Malay Mail.

He said, because of the limited medical facilities in prisons there was only so much they could do to treat the patients with the disease.

Fully aware about the danger of the disease, Nur Jazlan said the prison authorities had a standard operating procedure in place to curb the disease from being transmitted to other inmates.

“We need more cooperation and assistance from the Health Ministry. If there are more facilities in prison we can do more, and the faster we can work on treatment,” he said.

“We have no control over the health condition of inmates before they come to prison. Before they come to prisons we  screen them and if we find them positive of TB they are given the required treatment and they are isolated,” he said adding that majority of TB patients were Malaysians.

He said, the department ensures inmates with sicknesses are treated accordingly.

Currently inmates with TB are sent for treatments at the nearest government hospital.

“There are also Health Ministry officials that come to prisons from time to time to treat patients,” he said, adding that the prisons have clinics with selected medications.

He said many convicts that came in with TB were cured of the disease with the treatment provided in prisons.

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