THE Ghana Prisons Service is to construct an ultra modern hospital at Nsawam to address the health needs of inmates and officers.
The hospital, when completed would be opened to the general public and corporate institutions.
Similarly, the infirmaries at the prisons facilities across the country would also be rehabilitated and upgraded to meet international standards.
The Chairman of the Prisons Council, Rev. Dr. Stephen Yenusom Wengam, said this at a news briefing in Accra, yesterday to give an update of the “Project Efiase”.
The project which is a 10-year strategic plan was launched last year, to support the implementation of a three-pronged approach, namely advocacy and sensitisation, raise funds to improve on the conditions of inmates and prisons facilities.
It also sought to enter into an agreement with public private partners on how to utilise the potentials of inmates and to meet the needs of the service.
“The idea behind Project Efiase is to raise the standards of prisons administration in Ghana to meet the United Nations standards, as well as improving the condition of prison officers to enable them fulfill their functions”, he said.
He said through the support of the public, benevolent and corporate bodies, the Service managed to raise an amount of GH¢137,176.47 which would be judiciously used for the purposes for which the project was established.
Currently, he said, over 7,000 inmates had been registered onto the National Health Insurance scheme, saying more were to be registered.
Apart from the health needs, Dr. Wengam said other conditions such as accommodation for the inmates and officers were being tackled to address the challenge.
The living conditions of officers and inmates, he said, needed to be given urgent attention, noting that currently, there were 15,000 inmates and 5,000 officers.
The acting Director of the Service, Mr. Emmanuel Yao Adzator, said government had given the ‘green light’ to recruit additional staff this year to augment the personnel of the service.
He said the government released funds to pay for the outstanding house rent of personnel from January to December last year, saying what was left to clear was that of January to June, this year.
By Francis Asamoah Tuffour & Aba Asamoah