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Thursday, January 17, 2019

TB hounds more than 100 Cebu City Jail inmates

MORE than 100 inmates inside the Cebu City Jail have tuberculosis (TB) that may threaten the health of their visiting loved ones, said jail warden Jessie Calumpang.

Calumpang, who replaced Supt. Johnson Calub after a raid at the city jail that yielded cash and drugs, said that the facility is 500 percent congested. He said that visitors may get afflicted with TB because of the situation in the facility.

“It will really infect others. People in the community who regularly visit the jail facility every week will not know that they’ve been afflicted with the ailment and it’ll spread to their family members and neighbors when they go home,” Calumpang said in Cebuano.

The jail official, however, assured that inmates with TB have been isolated from the other inmates.

In September last year, 25 inmates were recorded to have been suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis.

After 10 months, the statistics have ballooned into more than 100 inmates suffering from the ailment.

With the demolition of 36 makeshift/conjugal rooms known as kubol-kubol that were voluntarily torn down by the inmates yesterday morning, the space can fit 300 more inmates.

During last Saturday’s Oplan Galugad (greyhound), some of the cells were not included in the inspection as they housed multi-drug resistant inmates whose tuberculosis is immune by two of the strongest anti-TB drugs.

Calumpang urged the concerned government agencies to support the inmates in terms of additional buildings and medicines.

“The budget is minimal from the bureau and the medicines that we can give to them are just enough for this year. How can we accommodate all the inmates if we are tied by our budget?” he asked.

At present, there are 3,102 inmates at the City Jail, which was designed to hold only 600 inmates.

Another problem that the inmates faced was the lack of clean water for the past five months.

Chris Sayuri, 23, who has been jailed for drug-related offenses, lamented of the rusty water and the food ration.
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