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NGO offers free medical services to Suleja inmates




Suleja (Niger), April 28, 2019 Breath of Freedom Foundation, an NGO, has offered free medical services to Suleja Prison female inmates in line with its mandate geared towards ensuring prisoners enjoy good health.

Speaking at the event on Sunday, Mr Abdulrahman Aboki, a legal practitioner, who represented the Chairman Board of Trustees, Mr Tony Ekwoaba, said the NGO’s mandate is aimed at promoting inmate rehabilitation and release.

Aboki said the organisation carries out its mandate through reforms, skills, trainings and capacity building, medical outreach, human right monitoring, care and support services.

According to him, the organisation is commited to promoting quality healthcare for inmates.

“What informed the decision is the passion to ensure that the prison is reformed.

“We are stepping in to provide free legal and medical counselling to inmates. We want to join hands with the goverment to ensure the health of the inmates and their general welfare is in order.”

On his part, the head medicals of the NGO, Dr David Ikeonwu, said it was imperative that government invest more in the health of inmates.

“One of the commonest things we see here is itching and vagina discharge, which is as a result of poor hygiene.

“”That is something that need to be curbed, looking at the environment as well, their environment needs to be improved upon, the wellbeing of the inmates need to be given so much consideration.

“It is to this effect that we have decided to collaborate with government efforts to ensure that the inmates are in good health.

“One of the commonest things that happen to females is Urinary Tracks Infection (UTI), this is as a result of the toilets they use. If we could create more rest rooms for them, that will as well help them,” he said

Ikeonwu said the NGO sets out to teach them how to use proper hygiene.

Mr Iyaye Ibrahim, the Head Counselling of the organisation, said alot of issues are centred on domestic affairs where the family of the husbands or their families bring their women to prison.

“Most of the women I have attended to, they are here based on late husbands, and then the husband put the wife as next of kin and then the family of husbands bring them here.

“It is quite heart-breaking. We try to see how we can do medical outreach in terms of mental and emotional health, and then it goes beyond offering a lawyer to look into some cases that are not high to see if we release some inmates.

“I think the law needs to be changed, if a person puts one as next of kin, that person should be next of kin.

“There should be a standard justice system that would be there based on if you are not as powerful as the opposition party, then you have to be on the receiving side.

“The Nigerian justice system has failed women woefully. It may not be a gender thing but traditional, some people are here on frivolous cases and that should not be so,” he said.