Sindh prisons embrace telemedicine for inmate healthcare

Recommendations of SPPB to be forwarded to govt for final approval, execution

KARACHI  -  Caretaker Sindh Home and Prisons Minister Brig (retd) Haris Nawaz Monday highlighted the significant strides towards implementing telemedicine within correctional facilities to enhance inmate healthcare while reducing costs and minimising risks associated with external hospital visits.

Chairing a meeting of the Sindh Prisons Policy Board at the IG Prison office here, Brig (retd) Nawaz emphasised the pivotal need for this initiative. Under the directive of the Sindh Prisons Policy Board (SPPB), a proposal was greenlit for the introduction of telemedicine systems across all prisons.

The initial phase is slated to begin with the Central Prison Sukkur, serving as a pilot project. Plans are underway to set up telemedicine desks at various hospitals, including NICVD and SIUT. The recommendations of the SPPB will be forwarded to the government for final approval and execution.

The minister underscored the importance of establishing District Oversight Committees and Welfare Committees to address several critical aspects, such as improving the lives of vulnerable prisoners, enhancing health and hygiene conditions, establishing dedicated spaces like Sweet Homes for children residing with their mothers in jails, setting up well-equipped libraries, and initiating vocational training programmes.

The meeting delved into diverse issues, focusing on introducing inmates to modern technology, Information Technology usage, and providing substantial support to families affected by the incarceration of breadwinners, adhering to the specified legal frameworks.

Established under The Sindh Prisoners and Corrections Services Act- 2019, the 17-member SPPB aims to craft policies ensuring prisoners’ safety, fundamental rights, and successful societal reintegration as responsible citizens. The primary objective remains the transformation of prisoners, fostering productivity, and developing strategies for the existing and future prison structures.

The board meeting boasted the presence of high-ranking officials, including secretaries from the Sindh Home and Law Departments, representatives from various provincial departments such as Finance, Health, Works and Services, Higher/Technical Education, Social Welfare, Women Development, Information Technology, and the Prosecutor General’s Office, alongwith the president of the Committee for Welfare of Prisoners.

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