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TB cases in prison

Siteri Sauvakacolo And Mere Naleba
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

THE Fiji Corrections Service yesterday confirmed that three of its convicted inmates are admitted at the PJ Twomey Hospital suffering from tuberculosis (TB).

Two of the three inmates are serving time at the Suva corrections facility while the third inmate is at the Naboro corrections facility.

Fiji Corrections Service spokeswoman Kuini Waqasavou confirmed the three inmates have been admitted at the Twomey Hospital in Tamavua after showing symptoms of TB.

And while the exact causes of the inmates' TB are unknown, National Adviser for Communicable Diseases Dr Mike Kama says overcrowding can be an associate factor.

"Overcrowding is an associate factor for any communicable disease not just TB. There are a lot of variables," Dr Kama said.

"Perhaps overcrowding is one of them but there are a lot of other issues," he said.

Dr Kama said one of the many preventative measures that could be taken into consideration by correctional officers was to focus on overcrowding and improving ventilation in the correctional facility and also to attend early treatments.

He said the airborne disease was spread when a person who had an active TB infection coughed, sneezed, or transmitted respiratory fluids through the air.

He said overcrowding could be an associated factor but this factor was a contributing factor for any communicable disease.

In response to questions sent to Mrs Waqasavou on the overcrowding issue, she said she will respond via email today.

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