Tag Archives: Nelson Mandela Rules

UN Zambia presents COVID-19 supplies and Maternity Medical Equipment to the Zambia Correctional Service

Press Release

Kabwe, 22 May 2020: In its continued support to the COVID-19 response in Zambia, the United Nations system has through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) presented Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials to the Zambia Correctional Service for use by inmates who constitute one of the vulnerable groups in society.

Dr. Mujinga Ngonga, National HIV Prevention Officer UNODC Zambia making her remarks during the presentation of maternity medical equipment at Mukobeko Maximum Prison in Kabwe. Photo Credit/UNIC/Lusaka/Charles Nonde

UNODC Zambia HIV Prevention Officer Dr Mujinga Ngonga handed over the materials to Commissioner General for Zambia Correctional Service, Dr Chisela Chileshe, at Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility in Kabwe. UNAIDS provided funding for the COVID-19 PPE and IEC materials valued at USD23,000.

“UNODC is keen to support national efforts so as ensure that international standards of prison management and public health are upheld. People in prison should be able to enjoy the same standards of health care as the general population. In Zambia this population is about 23’000 inmates and about 4,000 prison staff, these should not be left behind. We believe that they have a fundamental right to enjoy as good quality health care as other members of society free of charge and without discrimination and this includes COVID-19 prevention and control,” said Dr Ngonga.

It is a global trend that inmates and in correctional facilities and other places of detention are often the last to receive needed services and in times of COVID-19 it becomes even more desperate to have some conditions in place to avert the importation and spread of COVID-19

Some of the donated items received by the Prisons Services from UNODC Zambia. Photo Credit/UNIC/Lusaka/Charles Nonde

inside the correctional facilities. Physical distancing is obviously a challenge in overcrowded prison settings and as such masks or mouth and nose coverings, including cloths are one effective way of preventing the spread of COVID-19 within prison walls.

At the same event, UNODC presented Maternity Clinic Medical Equipment for use at the Mukobeko Maternity Clinic to help address Sexual and Reproductive Health challenges faced by incarcerated pregnant women. The equipment, valued at over USD37,000, was procured with funding from the Swedish Embassy.

“UNODC’s recommended action on incarcerated pregnant women is that they receive non-custodial sentences where possible and when appropriate. With this support, we are complementing the efforts of the Zambia Correctional Service to provide ante-natal and post-natal services not only to women in incarceration but also those from surrounding communities,” said Dr. Ngonga.

Dr Ngonga was joined at the event by Dr Tharcisse Baruhita, UNAIDS Country Director for Zambia whom she thanked for the support in providing funding for the PPE and IEC materials.

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# LeaveNoOneBehind #SDG3, #SDG5, #SDG10, #SDG16 #COVID19 #BangkokRules #NelsonMandelaRules #criminaljustice

For more information, please contact: 

United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lusaka, Mark Maseko, National Information Officer, P: +260-211-225-494 | M: + 260-955767062 | E: masekom@un.org

Prison Reforms In The Eyes Of An Inmate

By Glenda Mweni, Intern, UNIC Lusaka

On Thursday 18 July 2019 the United Nations in Zambia along with partners commemorated the International Nelson Mandela Day at the Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility in

Inmate Henry Lutangu, giving a vote of thanks during the commemoration of the Nelson Mandela Day at Mukobeko Correctional Facility in Kabwe. Photo/UNICLusaka/Nonde/2019

Kabwe. As part of the celebration, Henry Lutangu an inmate was given an opportunity to give a vote of thanks on behalf of his counterparts.

Lutangu expressed happiness at the Nelson Mandela day for promoting humane conditions in prisons as this is in line with rule 24(2) of the Nelson Mandela Rules which states that “prisons Health-care services should be organized in close relationship to the general public health administration and in a way that ensures continuity of treatment and care, including for HIV, tuberculosis and other infections, as well as for drug dependence.” He stated that the Mandela rules which call for the humane treatment of inmates have influenced the management of prison facilities and the treatment of prisoners in many ways.

He noted that inmates at Mukobeko had equal access not only to heath services but to education too. “I can testify that I am among those that have benefited from education facilities in the prison. I came as a Grade 12 certificate holder but I now have a degree in Education and I have already been enlisted for a Master’s degree at Kwame Nkrumah University.”

Mr Lutangu said inmates now have access to education and skills training, improved access to health and this can be seen in the introduction of fabricated health facilities in correctional

Henry Lutangu. Photo/UNICLusaka/Nonde/2019

facilities. The correctional facilities have experienced improved sanitary conditions and access to clean drinking water. Every day is a Mandela Day for people in prison due to the gradual transformation from offering punitive measures to correctional ones and this is in line with the new mandate which is to rehabilitate and correct inmates into responsible law-abiding citizens.

Lutangu said that following prison reform, inmates are now treated with respect as the focus on not on punishing them but helping them reform.

“We remain prayerful that all the citizens continue to be duty bound to ensure that they promote humane conditions of imprisonment, raise awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society and value the work of prison staff, an important social service,” Lutangu said.