Tuesday, 04 October 2022 00:00

KAHINDA OTAFIIRE LAUNCHES PROGRAM FOR SCREENING HIV, TB AND MALARIA AT POLICE STATIONS TO PREVENT SPREAD OF THE DISEASES IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

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PRESS RELEASE

KAHINDA OTAFIIRE LAUNCHES PROGRAM FOR SCREENING HIV, TB AND MALARIA AT POLICE STATIONS TO PREVENT SPREAD OF THE DISEASES IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Today 4th October 2022, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Rtd. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire has launched a program of screening suspects of crime, victims of crime and criminal justice actors for TB, HIV and Malaria at 16 Uganda Police Force stations. Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials including a sign post, TB Screening Form, TB Referral Form and banners were also launched. The launch was held at Jinja Road Police Station.

 

The screening program aims at ensuring the right to health for employees of the Criminal Justice System, victims of crime and suspects through screening of suspects for early detection of the aforementioned three diseases for effective treatment and referral, so as to curb their spread within the Criminal Justice System. The Criminal Justice System comprises the Uganda Police Force, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Judiciary (Criminal Bench) and Uganda Prisons Service.

 

The program was developed by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions with support from the Global Fund. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Uganda Police Force with guidance from the Ministry of Health developed the IEC materials. The Ministry of Health HIV–Program, Infectious Diseases Institute joined to support the launch.

 

In his address, Rtd. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire stated, “The idea of identifying the sick at the entry into the Criminal Justice System will enable proper management of the sick so that they can undergo trial with strength.” He further stated that the Ministry is working on expansion of the capacity of holding cells for all inmates.  

 

Mr. Byansi George William, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions who spoke on behalf of the DPP Jane Frances Abodo explained the importance of ensuring the good health of suspects of crime by stating that they go through the Criminal Justice System, interact with all stakeholders therein and could therefore pause a risk to them, if infected. He also pointed out the need to address the issue of congestion in cells through the plea bargain program and alternative non–custodial sentencing measures.

 

CP Kulayigye Hillary appreciated the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for initiating the program noting that it would benefit the Uganda Police Force immensely considering the fact that it is the entry point for suspects of crime. He also appreciated the Global Fund for funding the program.

 

Dr. Stavia Turyahabwe, Program Manager of the TB and Leprosy Program in the Ministry of Health emphasized the need for collaboration, fighting stigma and building awareness amongst the people involved in the program.

 

The screening program will be implemented in Kampala Metropolitan at the following Uganda Police Force stations; Jinja Road, Kira Road, Kira Division, Kawempe, Katwe, Kabalagala, Kasangati, Kajjansi, Entebbe, Nagalama, Mukono, Nateete, Wandegeya, Old Kampala, CPS Kampala, and SIU Kireka.

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