Cebu jail to conduct mandatory HIV, TB tests for inmates

Annie Perez and Edgar Escalante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 07 2017 06:35 PM

An alarming rise in the number of HIV and tuberculosis cases among inmates of the Cebu City Jail has led to a resolution to conduct mandatory testing for the said diseases among incoming inmates of the jail facility.

To date, there are 135 inmates diagnosed with HIV and 32 with tuberculosis. Seventeen inmates have also died due to various illnesses.

Councilor Dave Tumulak, chairman of the committee on health, Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos, and officials of the Cebu City Health Department and the Cebu City Medical Center conducted an ocular inspection at the jail facility on Friday afternoon to personally see the jail's condition.

Though the team was not able to establish a reason for the increase in HIV and tuberculosis cases, the jail warden stood by the reason that most of the new inmates are already HIV positive.

The inspecting team also found out that there is no proper medical check-up protocol when an inmate is transferred to the facility and that jail cells are congested.

The officials have resolved to conduct mandatory tuberculosis and HIV testing upon entering of the inmate to the jail and to fumigate cells. A doctor will also be assigned to visit the facility regularly rather than just once a week.