Archived page: may contain outdated information!

Gabon: Seminar for better public health in places of detention

22-04-2013 News Release 13/62

Libreville (ICRC) – Gabonese prison directors and the national authorities concerned are gathering in Libreville today to discuss the challenges and ways of improving the health-care system in places of detention in the country. They will be attending the first national seminar on public health in prisons organized jointly by the ICRC and Gabon's justice ministry.

The management of health care in prisons and the introduction of appropriate curative and preventive measures represent major challenges for many States. Since 1870, in accordance with its mandate, the ICRC has been striving to improve the situation of detainees and to develop a constructive working relationship with the national authorities concerned in order to introduce the measures necessary to bring detention conditions into line with applicable national and international standards.

In 2012, the ICRC and the Gabonese authorities carried out an assessment of detention conditions that identified the challenges within the country's prisons. The role of the ICRC was to provide support for the country's prison administration in its efforts to develop and improve the system of public health in the prisons. A plan of action was drawn up jointly by the ICRC and the authorities concerned.

As part of the implementation of the plan of action, the ICRC regional delegation for central Africa is organizing, together with the Gabonese justice ministry, a seminar on "Public health in places of detention" which will be held in Libreville from 22 to 24 April.

The justice and health ministries, senior officials from the country's nine prisons, and ICRC health, hygiene and sanitation specialists will take part. Working sessions during the three days of the seminar will be devoted to exploring the challenges of and new answers to access to care, in particular for people with contagious diseases, as well as infectious diseases, access to medicines and the role of doctors in prisons, diet and nutrition, housing, water, hygiene and sanitation.

The exclusively humanitarian aim of the ICRC, a neutral and independent organization, is to protect the lives and dignity of, and bring aid to, victims of armed conflict and other violence. The ICRC, founded in 1863, launched the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

For further information, please contact:
Maria Puy Serra, ICRC Yaoundé, tel: +237 99 41 65 79