THE Cebu City Jail lacks proper care for its inmates suffering from tuberculosis (TB) and psychiatric diseases.

This is an observation made by the Missionaries of Hope, a non-government organization, which called the attention of the Cebu City Government to the plight of the sickly inmates in the jail facility.

Sister Joachim Brown said that in the three years that the organization has volunteered its services to the city jail, the lack of attention from concerned offices in addressing the inmates’ needs is palpable.

The jail has some 2,000 inmates.

Brown documented that there is no on-call doctor assigned to the facility in cases of emergency.

An inmate has to wait for a court order to leave the facility for a checkup.

“The court-order system for inmates to be able to go to the hospital for basic tests lacks efficiency and men are left waiting and sick,” Brown said.

She said there is no facility to do basic physiological tests within the jail facility and nurses are left with decisions beyond their professional competence.


In some instances, inmates feared to have acquired TB need to wait for at least eight weeks for their laboratory results without being isolated from other inmates.

By the time the results are out, some have already contacted the disease from their fellow inmates.

Though inmates diagnosed with TB are given treatment, Brown said they need additional attention from medical experts since the disease is contagious.

As standard procedure, the City’s Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) attends to the basic needs of the inmates.

Brown submitted her observations to the Cebu City Council with a plea to do something about the health of the thousands of detainees at the city jail.

She also asked for an audience with city officials to discuss the assistance the City should extend to the inmates.

In answer, the council has called for an executive session to discuss the matter on July 23.

The DSWS and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology have been ordered to attend the session. (RVC)