Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) together with Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. and the Occidental Mindoro Provincial Health Office provided a two-day health screening for 320 penal inmates at the Pasugui Sub-Station of the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro on April 5-6, 2017 with the theme: Integrated Infectious Disease Systematic Screening on Vulnerable Population.”
“This is to show that all population including prison inmates are included and covered by health services under President Duterte’s Health Agenda, “All for Health Towards Health for All”. They too, deserve equal care as decreed by basic human right. They have the right to be healthy and free from diseases,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated during the opening of the event.
“Aside from the screening of tri-diseases (TB, HIV, Malaria), we have included the provision of family planning education and services to help inmates with couples living near the compound of the prison to become responsible parents and improve their reproductive health and also to assist them achieve a desirable family size. Every sector must be well-informed of the responsible parenthood and reproductive health programs of the DOH in order for the government to address the unmet needs in family planning,” he emphasized.
Among the services conducted were Malaria screening, tuberculosis and HIV screening with the objective of detecting and treating these diseases which are most common in prison set-up because of congestion and close contact among inmates. Blood samples were taken for laboratory examination, sputum samples were collected, x-ray service were given and blood pressure of inmates were checked.
Based on the medical records by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the primary-diagnosed diseases in jails are respiratory tract infections, skin diseases, pulmonary tuberculosis and skin diseases.
“We will continue to hold mass screenings because it is an effective strategy in reducing, and eventually eliminating diseases in jails and in prisons and sustaining the health and well-being of inmates,” Janairo assured.
The first mass screening for Sablayan inmates was held on September 7-8, 2017 with 240 inmates provided with various screening and testing services.
MIMAROPA region has two penal colonies namely Iwahig located in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan and the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm located in Occidental Mindoro.