A four-day exercise to register inmates of the Ho Central Prison onto the National Health Insurance Scheme ended yesterday.
In all, 102 prisoners out of the total of 430 received new health insurance cards while 61 had their missing cards replaced.
Sixty-nine of the inmates earlier had their expired cards renewed during the exercise which was carried out jointly by the prison authorities and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).
The Deputy Director of Prison in-charge of the Volta Region, Mr Andrews Dzokoto told the ‘Ghanaian Times’ yesterday that the correctional centre was highly concerned about the health of the inmates.
In that vein, he said that plans were far advanced to upgrade the one-bunk bed infirmary at the prison into a 20-bed health centre.
He touched on COVID-19 and said that the gates of the Ho Central Prison were still shut to new convicts as part of measures to prevent an outbreak of the virus.
Mr Dzokoto said that all new convicts would be sent to the 400-capacity Kete-Krachi Prison in the Oti Region which had ample space for quarantine, unlike the over-congested 150-capacity Ho Central Prison which did not have enough space for the prisoners to stretch out and observe the social distancing protocol.
He explained that the creation of a health centre at the Ho prison would enable inmates who fell ill to undergo treatment internally, and that would also reduce the risk of prisoner escapes.
According to Mr Dzokoto, 23 recruit prison officers posted newly to the jail had all tested negative for COVID-19.
FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO