Chimbokaila prisoners sue the State for poor nutrition


THE High Court has directed the State to ensure that the officer-in-charge at Lusaka Central Prison testifies in a matter in which prisoners have sued the State for poor nutrition.
This is in a matter in which inmates at Lusaka Central Prison, also known as Chimbokaila, have petitioned the State against non-availability of a balanced diet and medication for prisoners living with HIV.
When the matter came up for continued trial before High Court judge Jane Kabuka, a witness said people receiving anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy treatment need a balanced diet to reduce the side-effects of the drugs.
Public health specialist Canisius Banda said good nutrition is important in improving immunity and that a balanced diet is one way of achieving this.
Dr Banda said it is important for anyone responsible for people on treatment for AIDS to ensure that they provide adequate food.
He said people have different nutritional needs which should be properly identified to ensure that their bodies function properly.
Dr Banda said ARVs are very strong drugs which should be taken with enough food for the proper functioning of the drugs and keeping side effects under control.
“Nutrition security should be attained as this allows the body to improve its immunity and eliminate the virus on its own. For those taking medication, success rates are enhanced with good nutrition,” Dr Banda said.
He said a person on ARV treatment can die from side effects such as anemia if they are not properly fed.
The State failed to bring their witness, the officer-in- charge of Lusaka Central Prison to testify in the matter.
Justice Kabuka said this was the last time the State would seek an adjournment because notices of service were issued in March.
She said the witness should come to court in the next sitting.
Prisoners at Lusaka Central Prisons have petitioned the Attorney-General, alleging that they are not accessing ARV medication and that they are not given a balanced diet.