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Hundreds of inmates sick since August

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita September 11,2015 - 12:30 PM

Cebu City Jail inmates avail of the off-site voter registration by the Comelec in this October 2012 file photo.

Cebu City Jail inmates avail of the off-site voter registration by the Comelec in this October 2012 file photo.

Hundreds of inmates in the Cebu City Jail are suffering from ailments ranging from sore eyes and respiratory tract infection to even human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) since last month.

“They are asking for support. I’ve talked with City Health Department (CHD chief) Dr. Daisy Villa on how the city can assist. We can help in terms of giving medicines,” Councilor Dave Tumulak said.

Tumulak, who heads the city’s Peace and Order Program, said based on records submitted by Arthur Unabia, the nursing in-charge of the city jail, 402 inmates contracted “jail-acquired diseases” last month.

Of that number, 50 inmates had upper respiratory tract infection, 35 had scabies, 30 had high blood pressure, 20 had diarrhea, 20 had acute gastro enteritis (damaged or weak stomach), and 25 had arthritis.

About 25 also had pulmonary tuberculosis, 24 had conjunctivitis (pink eye caused by bacterial infection), 12 had low blood pressure, 10 had vertigo, 10 had inflammation of the liver while seven had human immunodeficiency virus, among many others.

Based on the report, Tumulak said he will check with the City Health Office to determine how much medicines should be brought to the city jail by next week.

He said jail officials failed to secure funds from their national office for medicines.

“We are also asking the help of private individuals and groups if they want to help and donate medicines for the inmates,” Tumulak said.

Tumulak said he expects the situation there to worsen especially with the coming El Niño.

He said Dr. Villa told him that the city used to send a doctor to the city jail at least once a week.

The immediate community of the city jail had been complaining of foul odor from a busted septic tank.

Tumulak said he sent a suction truck to the jail yesterday to help solve the situation. A second septic tank is being built.

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TAGS: Cebu City, City Health Department, inmates

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