Source: Prisons in frantic bid to avert typhoid outbreak – DailyNews Live 20 January 2017
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has said it
is working around the clock to avert a typhoid outbreak in the country’s
This comes as a typhoid outbreak has hit the high density suburb of Mbare
and claimed two lives.
ZPCS said isolation wards have been set up to quarantine inmates suspected
of contracting the highly communicable disease.
Its acting public relations officer, Priscilla Mthembo, yesterday moved to
quash claims that typhoid has spread to the country’s prisons, saying no
case has been recorded yet.
This comes as an ex-convict who was released last week after serving seven
years behind bars claimed that the deadly disease was wreaking havoc at
Harare Central Prison.
Robson Jack said he was “lucky” to be alive as prisoners were consuming
contaminated water and food.
“It is not true that we have recorded typhoid cases or deaths related to
typhoid in our prisons,” Mthembo said, before admitting reports of
Harare Central Prison is home to 1 910 prisoners against a holding
capacity of 1 300.
“Most of our maximum and remand prisons are overcrowded due to the calibre
of inmates, offences and sentences which are currently being served by
She, however, assured the public that ZPCS is doing everything in its
capacity to ensure that a typhoid outbreak is averted.
“We have put in place various measures to ensure we handle imminent
outbreak of typhoid,” Mthembo said.
“Our major concentration is on preventive measures through ensuring
inmates and officers have access to clean, safe and secure drinking water
and proper management of waste.
“Inmates’ relatives are also encouraged to limit food quantities brought
into prison for their loved ones behind bars; particularly we urge them to
bring in tinned, dry foods and peelable fruits.
“Our health team is also constantly conducting health surveillance to
identify any likely cases of typhoid.
“We are also working closely with other health authorities in terms of
training and provision of test kits. Our rapid response team has also set
aside isolation wards to quarantine and manage any cases or suspected