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Colombia: Award for ICRC preventive health-care activities in prisons

12-07-2002 News Release 02/28

On 5 July, the Colombian National Prison Institute (INPEC) presented a special award to ICRC health delegate Marie-Thérèse Engelberts in recognition of the ICRC's activities to promote health care and disease prevention in the country's prisons.

These activities, launched in 2000, are designed to " improve medical care for detainees, spread notions of disease prevention among the prison population and make community health care a regular part of INPEC activities " , according to Marie-Thérèse. They include a pilot community health-care project and programmes to assist disabled detainees, prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and provide early screening for breast cancer.

All the projects have an educational component since detainees take part in developing teaching tools and help spread information about preventive measures within the prison system and among their families. 

Given the positive results obtained so far, the ICRC and INPEC plan to extend the programmes to other detention centres in Colombia.