Attention has again been drawn to the ills in Nigeria’s Correctional Service facilities, as about 20 inmates have reportedly died of pulmonary tuberculosis in the Katsina custodial centre, with hundred other inmates also infected.
In the same facility?
Yes, and to make matters worse, Premium Times reports that there had been an attempt by officials in the facility to cover up the incident. According to the news paper, senior officials whose roles involved receiving reports on the facility were kept in the dark.
Why did they want to cover it up?
Sources attributed the incident to corruption and a “shockingly poor” state of hygiene and health services in the more than hundred years old facility. A senior official is reported to have expressed shock that such could be happening without him knowing, but refrained from dismissing it.
How did the TB spread to so many inmates?
Experts say that the disease has a high risk of spreading in an overcrowded space, especially where there is poor nutrition and poor environmental hygiene. In this case, the prison, which was constructed by the British in 1918 with a capacity to hold 300 inmates, currently holds about 900, according to an unnamed source.
While the spokesperson of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Francis Enobore, said the outbreak was in January and only seven inmates had died, Premium Times reports that sources with direct knowledge of the situation, including those on the ground, provided photographs and documents that confirmed that numerous inmates have been infected and died from the disease.