Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Infections tackled at prison

Infections tackled at prison

Infections tackled at prison

5 Prisoners and Children

In Cambodia’s overcrowded prison system, space is a luxury few prisoners can afford.

But for the women and children at Prey Sar’s Correctional Centre 2 (CC2) – the Kingdom’s biggest facility for women and juveniles – there might soon be a little more room to breathe.

Medecins San Frontieres and the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prisons (GDP) on Wednesday inaugurated two new buildings meant for the facility’s mothers and young children.

The group are among the most vulnerable to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis which spread easily in cells that can be packed at twice their capacity.

“Before, children and pregnant women were sheltered in three rooms in the prison’s health post,” said Dr Karina Cantizano, MSF prison project coordinator. “But there, they would be mixed with inmates with TB and HIV-infected patients.”

The buildings – which contain four 10-square-metre cells and a play area for children - cost $25,000 and were funded by the MSF. They will isolate young children and their mothers from the sick  and infirm.

“Especially for children, tuberculosis can be fatal. It is also dangerous for adults but at least the disease takes a longer time [to weaken them],” Dr Cantizano added.

Statistics from the MSF show about four per cent of prisoners at CC2 are infected with TB – some six times higher than the regular population. Currently, one child at CC2 has TB while another is supected to have contracted it.

There are 509 women and 161 minors housed at the 300-person capacity centre – including seven pregnant women and 20 mothers with children under the age of five, according to rights group Licadho.

“We hope that with this new building, it will help reduce the overcrowded conditions in CC2,” said Kuy Bunsan, GDP general director. The GDP has promised to relocate the prisoners by Monday, but there are fears the buildings might be misused  for “VIP prisoners” .

“The facility is good if it is used for mothers and children, not for rich prisoners [who use money to buy their way in],” Nget Sokun, Licadho’s prisons project supervisor, said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,