Malaysia: Medical personnel discuss health care in detention

18 November 2015

Kuala Lumpur (ICRC) – A two-day workshop on health care in places of detention is taking place in Kuala Lumpur, bringing together 25 health-care personnel from prisons, immigration detention centres, temporary detention centres, the Ministry of Health Malaysia and the University of Malaya's Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS. The workshop has been convened by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Addressing participants at the workshop, Isabelle Barras, head of the ICRC regional delegation in Kuala Lumpur, said: "The ICRC is committed to continuing to work closely with the authorities in support of their efforts to deliver best medical practices in places of detention."

The ICRC has considerable experience visiting detainees throughout the world and working with detaining authorities on health-care issues. The ICRC's visits seek to ensure that detainees, whatever the reason for their detention, are treated with dignity and humanity, in accordance with international standards. Working in support of the authorities, the ICRC examines a wide range of factors that have an impact on the well-being of detainees, such as their treatment, nutrition, the living conditions and the water and sanitation systems of the premises in which they are held, and the extent to which they are able to communicate with their families.

Dr Mohamed Naim Abd Kadir, head of the tuberculosis and leprosy sector at the Ministry of Health, commended the organizers for giving participants such a unique opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other. He added that provision of health care in places of detention was quite a specific challenge and it was high time for civil society organizations to get on-board in addressing it.

ICRC and Ministry of Health speakers will not only be sharing their own expertise but also leading discussions on topics such as women's health, medical ethics, skin infections and tuberculosis, and food and nutrition in places of detention. This is the third such workshop hosted in Malaysia. The last one was held in Kuala Lumpur in December 2014 and was attended by 30 prison managers, doctors and medical assistants from all over the country.

For further information, please contact:
Jacqueline Fernandez, ICRC Kuala Lumpur, tel: +6012 3056 039 or email: jfernandez@icrc.org