A collaboration between the DIRAP, the NGO La Vita per Te and the Akbaraly Foundation to guarantee the health of female prisoners, of their families and of the female staff of the penitentiary administration.
A year ago the Rex center in Fianarantsoa, managed by the NGO La Vita per Te, started a collaboration with the DIRAP of Fianaransoa (interregional direction of the penitentiary administration) based on a convention signed by the DIRAP in October 2015. The goal of the convention is to protect the health of women and children, regardless of their socioeconomic conditions, including female prisoners and their children.
With this agreement, the NGO La Vita per Te and the Akbaraly Foundation confirmed their availability and their technical support, on a sanitary level, for the awareness and prevention program about female cancers in the Fianarantsoa prison. The sanitary services offered by the Rex are dedicated to the female prisoners and the female staff of the prison.
Over the first few months of activities, the Rex team has already carried out 9 awareness raising campaigns at the prison, during the course of which 94 female prisoners and as many staff members were involved.
The Rex staff also carried out some diagnostic exams, including 22 Pap test for the early detection of uterine cancer and as many breast exams, 11 gynecological consultations, 8 abdominal and obstetric echographies. Out of 22 Pap tests, 3 were positive (13%) and 2 women were referred to a specialist to treat precancerous lesions.
The project, which started only a few months ago, highlighted that the female population of the prison is especially vulnerable to infections and gynecological diseases. The project that we introduce today is, actually, an increase and an extention of the aforementioned convention signed in October 2015 with the DIRAP.
Thanks to the great sensitivity of Mrs. Hanitra, the Director, and to the extensive collaboration with the managers of the Fianarantsoa institute, including Mrs. Mamisoa, the Director, we decided to put our services at the disposal of all the Penitentiary Centers in the entire district, and not only of the women who live and work in Fianarantsoa.
The project’s goal is to guarantee the right to proper healthcare, especially in terms of preventing female cancers in the penitentiary district of the Haute Matsiatra region, which includes the detention centers in Fianarantsoa, Ihosy (Ihorombe), and Ambositra (Amoron’I Mania) in the South of Madagascar.
This goal was confirmed in the general directives of the Ministry of Justice that impose the social protection, the reintegration into society, the respect of the life conditions and the need for human treatment in the detention centers in the country (Decree n. 901 of 19 December 2006, articles 5 and 19). The public penitentiary service must allow the inmates to prepare for their life after prison in the best conditions possible, and a good level of health is necessary for a correct reintegration into society.
The NGO La Vita per Te, the Akbaraly Foundation and the DIRAP of Fianarantsoa share these principles fully and absolutely, with the goal of respecting human rights and guaranteeing a respectful treatment of prisoners throughout the country.
The project, in fact, is scheduled to be extended to the entire Haute Matsiatra region and, in the future, to every prison in the country! It would be the first project of this kind in Madagascar, based on goals and principles that we all share very strongly with our partners. We trust that there is a possibility to create a reciprocal collaboration, because the results that we have already accomplished together are extraordinary.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS:
Strengthen the collaboration between the DIRAP and the penitentiary administrations of the regions Haute Matsiatra, Ihorombe and Amoron’I Mania.
Create a network of contacts to coordinate with the DIRAP for the realization of the entire program.
Put in place a free awareness and prevention program for the inmates, the administrative employees and the female guards, to ensure the health of the inmates and guarantee access to basic healthcare, thus having the chance to prevent diseases.
Schedule more awareness and prevention campaigns in the districts that depend from the interregional administration: Fianarantsoa, Ambositra, Ihosy and Camp Penal de Andonaka (Ambalavao) for the year 2016/2017.
Deal with the uterine and breast cancer prevention program for the inmates, administer the HPV vaccine to the daughters of the inmates and the staff, take care of malnourished children and prevent communicable diseases thanks to the administration of vaccines in collaboration with the public health care service.
Involved personnel: technical staff from the Rex center in Fianarantsoa (a doctor, a nurse, two lab technicians, two drivers).
Equipment: Mobile Unit equipped with a mammograph, ultrasound and all the necessary materials for the awareness and prevention campaigns (Pap test and ultrasound).