From Musah Umar Farouq
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) in the Upper West Region, Issahaku Nuhu Putiah, has donated medical equipment to the infirmary at the Wa Prison.
The items donated were after the prison officers had made an appeal for help, which made the MCE to come to their aid. During his visit, the MCE used the opportunity to interact with the inmates and the officers in charge.
He was of the belief that the medical equipment donated would aid the smooth running of the health facility in the prisons. Among the items presented were syringes, mosquito nets, collars, blood pressure devices, gloves, drugs, and books, and cash of GH¢1,000.
The Municipal Chief Executive called on the judiciary to review the high sentences meted out to convicts, which is leading to overcrowding in the prison. He further called on Ghanaians and people of the Upper West Region to support and help equip the skills training centers in the Wa Prison.
Speaking to the media during his visit to the Wa Prison, Putiah further called on the Ghanaian society to encourage community service, with effective supervision, for minor offences as an alternative to imprisonment, to help reduce congestion in the prison.
He said perpetrators of minor offences like stealing should be given community service as their sentence, instead of putting all such offenders in the prisons which are already congested. “This, I believe, would help decongest the prison, as well as reduce the burden on the budget of the Prisons Service,” MCE said.
Issahaku Putiah advised the inmates to consent to testing for HIV and AIDS, in order to know their status and receive early treatment, saying early detection and treatment of the disease was a better option. He emphasised the need for prisoners to enjoy their basic rights to healthcare, saying that their living conditions should promote rather than destroy their good health.
The Regional Commander of Prisons, ADP Victor Douchebe, expressed appreciation on behalf of the officers to the MCE for the kind gesture, and added that the medical items would help them for some time. ADP Douchebe said the facility is holding in custody the largest number of prisoners, and currently has 233 convicts and 56 remand prisoners.