The Ghana Prisons Service in Accra

The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Prisons Service has revealed that keeping prisoners on a nutritious wholesome diet is an impossible task.

DSP Daniel Machator disclosed that when it comes to providing nutritious meals for inmates to help boost their immune system to fight the novel coronavirus, the Service is lagging behind.

“Each prisoner is fed with ¢1.80 a day, which translates into ¢0.60p for breakfast, ¢0.60p for lunch and ¢0.60p for supper,” he told Kojo Yankson on JoyFM’s Super Morning Show, Thursday.

“How possible is it for us to provide the inmates with, not just a wholesome but a nutritious meal? It has been the case since 2011. It used to be ¢0.60p for the day,” he observed.

“We’ve had to manage this amount for close to a decade,”

The PRO who expressed worry about the lack of concern for prison health amidst the coronavirus outbreak in the country, said that prisoners and officers are also at risk of getting infected with the virus.

He said the overcrowding also adds to the dilemma. 

Referencing an H1N1 outbreak which occurred in 2018 in a maximum-security prison of Ankaful, DSP Machator disclosed that over 340 inmates were affected.

Also, over 100 officers carried the illness to their homes and families.

“I was affected and my commander was affected too, so the situation is that bad [in prison],” he disclosed.

He called on all Ghanaians to acknowledge that prison health is public health.

“If we do not take care of their healthcare while they are behind bars, not all of them are going to stay in prison forever, so definitely at a point, they will come out.”

“And when they come out it is the society they are coming to. If the prisoner will not go home with the sickness, the prison officer will come with it,” he added.