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Over 5,000 prisoners suffering from HIV/AIDS, fatal diseases in Pakistani jails

More than five thousand prisoner in jails across the countries have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and other fatal disease, revealed a report by the Ministry for Human Rights.
Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari submitted the report to the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which had set up a commission to assess the facilities available to prisoners and forward recommendations for reforms in jail.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah resumed the hearing of a petition filed by a prisoner Khadim Hussain against poor health facilities in jails.
Totally 425 inmates are suffering from HIV/ AIDS of which 225 patients are in Punjab, 115 in Dinh, 39 in KP and 13 in Balochistan. Both male and female prisoners have been diagnosed of the fatal disease, revealed the report.
Remaining patients, according to the official assessment, are suffering from Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, mental problems and other diseases.
What adds to the miseries of prisoners is that hospitals available for their treatment lack medical equipments and laboratories, it said.
A major obstacle highlighted by the official report is about a formal procedure adopted to allow an inmate to get treatment outside the jails. It revealed that around 245 cases of ill prisoner are pending with the respective Home Departments, which are responsible to decide on the matter.
The minister’s report further revealed that 65 per cent of the prisoners in jail are yet to be convicted as their cases are pending with the courts in all the four provinces.

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