The Zambia Prisons Service has appealed to government and other cooperating partners to increase funding for its prisons department for it to be able to adequately provide sufficient and correct meals for inmates who are HIV positive.
Zambia Prison Service Public Relations Officer Doreen Ngoma says most prisons currently have no capacity to provide sufficient and adequate meals to inmates on HIV medication, a situation which she said is dangerous for the ailing inmates.
Ms. Ngoma said was speaking with ZANIS in a telephone interview in Lusaka during the week.
She said apart from inmates having access to ARVs, they also need to be put on special diet that is different from what the other inmates eat as they require eating balanced diets to prevent the HIV from developing into full blown AIDS.
Ms Ngoma disclosed that the infected inmates acquire the ARVS through officers and fellow inmates who are trained in handling the medication.
She also said there is a system that has been put in place by prisons in Zambia where each prison has officers and inmates who are put specifically trained to deal with cases of HIV and AIDS.
“Each prison has a clinic within or near the prison premises and these provide Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services to those prisoners who want to know their HIV status and assist those already positive to start getting treatment,” Ms. Ngoma said.