Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) launched a two-week provincewide mass screening for inmates from August 22 to August 31, 2017 in various jails and prisons in Oriental Mindoro and Romblon.
“We would like to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, especially in confinements where there are communal areas such as mess hall, kitchen, comfort rooms, shower areas and living quarters, such as prison cells. People in these facilities are exposed daily to potentially harmful organisms,” Director Eduardo C. Janairo explained.
“Also, there is the risk of infectious diseases being spread to facilities that are over-crowded and it is important that cells are properly sanitized and regularly cleaned to ensure that viruses and bacteria do not transmit infectious pathogens to people,” Dr. Janairo added.
Among the screening services provided were tuberculosis, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and mental health to be able to assess inmates for possible substance abuse disorder.
The mass screening targeted 1,589 inmates and 121 staff of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and Oriental Mindoro Provincial Jail located in various municipalities of the province. There were 100 inmates targeted for screening tests in Romblon.
Participating facilities includes Oriental Mindoro Provincial Jail (OMPJ), Calapan City Jail, Roxas Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Naujan BJMP, San Teodoro NJMP, Roxas OMPJ, Bansud NJMP and Pinamalayan OMPJ in Oriental Mindoro; and the Romblon Provincial Jail and Romblon BJMP in Romblon.
According to Janairo, the mass screening is needed to reach high risk populations and facilitate the immediate and effective treatment of inmates with TB, HIV and mental health disorders to lessen the growing incidence of these health concerns in penitentiaries. That is why early identification and successful management of persons with the disease remains the most effective means of preventing transmission”, Janairo explained.
“Inmates who will be diagnosed as positive with these diseases will immediately be given treatment and preventive management in order not to infect others inside”, he concluded.