Zambia Correctional Services Commissioner General Mr. Percy Chato has commended DAPP and other NGO’s for the role they play in improving the health of prisoners in Zambia’s Correctional Facilities.
Mr. Chato made the commendation during this year's commemoration of World Aids Day held at the Lusaka Central Correctional Facility under the theme “Ending AIDS by 2030 starts with me”.
"I commend all cooperating partners and other stakeholders for the various interventions in our correctional services aimed at intensifying campaign messages against HIV and AIDS," said Mr. Chato
Mr. Chato who was also Guest of Honour at the function said the frequency of HIV and AIDS related illnesses and deaths among inmates have drastically reduced since most inmates have been tested and are now aware of their HIV status.
"Before NGOs started sensitizing prisons in the campaign against HIV and AIDS, deaths were common but the trend has now changed. Out of a total of 19,000 incarcerated inmates, about 95% of inmates have received HIV testing services while 80% have been put on treatment.
DAPP Zambia, through the Human Rights Project being implemented in Luapula, Muchinga and Central provinces, has enhanced protection of rights and improved living conditions of prisoners.
The project’s objective is to increase awareness and improve capacity of relevant stakeholders to provide health and legal services and improve the wellbeing, living conditions and protection detainees and all circumstantial children in Zambia’s Correctional Facilities
Since inception, about 1,300 prisoners have been tested for HIV in eight (8) correctional facilities in the three provinces.