Health Ministry, Sungai Buloh Prison say looking into inmate’s TB death

Melissa Sasidaran (white shirt) from Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) speaks to policemen at Sungai Buloh Hospital. — Picture via Twitter/Melissa_ms
Melissa Sasidaran (white shirt) from Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) speaks to policemen at Sungai Buloh Hospital. — Picture via Twitter/Melissa_ms

KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — The Health Ministry and the Sungai Buloh Prison are jointly investigating allegations that an inmate who recently died from tuberculosis was denied medical treatment for the infectious disease.

“Investigation is ongoing. A statement will be issued once it’s done,” Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad’s office said.

Lawyer Melissa Sasidaran, representing the family of the dead prisoner M. Proosothaman, claimed yesterday that the 25-year-old man was denied proper medical treatment for the disease as the latter was diagnosed only after admission to hospital.

Citing pathologists who conducted a post-mortem on Proosothaman, she said he would have contracted tuberculosis a few months before his death.

However, Proosothaman was only taken to Sungai Buloh Hospital on May 21, more than a fortnight after he told visiting family members on May 5 that he had symptoms like serious fever, diarrhoea, and difficulty walking due to intense pain.

He was allegedly only given Panadol for his pain.

He later died in hospital on May 25.

Melissa, who is from human rights group Lawyers for Liberty, also asked the Health Ministry and the Prisons Department if a quarantine at the prison is in place as tuberculosis is a highly infectious disease.

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