Tuberculosis fears at women’s prison in Trinidad

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Tuberculosis fears at women’s prison in Trinidad

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) — Inmates are claiming that tuberculosis has been contracted by several of them at the Women’s Prison in Arouca.

The inmates said they have been coughing for the past six weeks and are being treated with over the counter drugs. They said the situation is being covered up.

But Acting Commissioner of Prisons who returned to work on Monday said he had received no information of there being tuberculosis at the Women’s Prison.

He told the Express, “I spoke to (Deputy Commissioner of Prisons) Mr (Dane) Clarke who would have been acting in my absence and he said to me that he got no information that there was any outbreak of TB at the Women’s Prison … Not even one case and he would have been holding on for the month for me. I came out yesterday (Monday).”

A remand prisoner however told the Express in a telephone interview on Tuesday that there was an inmate with the infectious bacterial disease and she is being housed at the infirmary, preventing the pregnant inmates from accessing the area.

“She (the patient) should be sent to Caura (Hospital) … Normally, they house the pregnant women in the infirmary on the ground level. Two pregnant inmates have to remain in the regular cells,” the inmate said.

She added, “I have been coughing six weeks now and they are only giving me Panadol and Piriton. The doctors keeps saying it is not urgent and it is the common cold.”

The Express was told that there are a total 134 female inmates which comprises both convicts and remand prisoners.

President of the Prison Officers Association Cerron Richards said he was not aware of such a situation at the Women’s Prison. He however said he heard that there was tuberculosis at the Extended Remand Facility of the men’s prison. “I’m not certain how true it is but that is what I would have heard,” Richards said.

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