ICRC has been a reference in many aspects of prison's health and nutrition. In the last 10 years, healthcare in detention programs grew significantly in the Arabic countries, and today, ICRC healthcare in detention activities are directly or indirectly implemented in 17 out of 22 Arabic countries.
From 2012 forward, ICRC has been conducting a yearly seminar on Health Care in Detention gathering authorities and National Medical Boards. Today, ICRC organizes the first Arabic Health Care in Detention conference in the region.
The conference will bring together senior management staff from the medical services of the Ministries/Departments responsible for prisons and from Health Ministries/Departments, senior correctional managers, academics and public health scientists from across the Arabic countries, representatives of international organizations and international guest speakers.
This is a meeting where concerned authorities and stakeholders will enhance their knowledge and skills in strengthening prison health systems through the promotion of implemented programs and best practices based on the respect of fundamental rights protecting all persons under any form of detention or imprisonment.
• Djibouti • Egypt • Bahrain • Comoros Islands
• Morocco • Oman • Palestine • Qatar • Algeria
• Somalia • Tunisia • Lebanon • Saudi Arabia
• Sudan • Syria • Yemen • UAE • Jordan
• Libya • Kuwait • Iraq • Mauritania
Sessions and Themes
Laws in Relation to Health Care in Detention theme:
Health services provided to communities are set by national laws and regulations, and specific standard operational procedures (SOPs) targeting the general population. Detention places, in general, have distinct restricted policies, which as a result, entails a unique health structure set up for the provision of health services to the detained population including access to secondary and tertiary medical services outside the place of detention.
This session will review examples of how laws, including soft laws, apply to the provision of health care in prisons.
Health Governance by the Ministry of Health theme:
The responsibility of providing health services to the general community falls under the responsibility of the ministry of health. The situation is not the same in places of detention in many Arabic countries, where the provision of health services falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice or Ministry of Interior, which in most cases, may not have the expertise and means to deliver similar quality services as of the Ministry of Health. As a result, health care provision in places of detention is utterly affected. Over the years many countries adopted the policy of shifting the responsibility from the Ministry of Justice/Interior to the Ministry of Health.
This session will cover some success stories of the health governance by the Ministry of health and will highlight how data and statistics have proven the added value of this migration and its direct positive impact on health care in places of detention.
Women and accompanying children theme:
Worldwide, there are around 714 000 women and girls are held in penal institutions either as pre-trial detainees or having been convicted and sentenced. Women and girls make up 6.9% of the global prison population. The female prison population has increased worldwide by 53% since the year 2000 compared to a 20% increase in the male prison population.In the Arab world, female prisoners represent between 1.2 to 14.7 %. With rates varying below and higher than the global average, many questions in relation to their health arise. Are women's specific needs (medical, social, rehabilitation) well addressed in the region? Are national policies and legislation updated in line to Bangkok Rules? How do we relieve the cultural aspect of stigmatization for the woman prisoner?
This session will cover the overall needs and the challenges presented by women and accompanying children in detention settings.
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support theme:
An increasing number of people with mental health disorders, entering detention facilities, presents significant challenges. In many cases, detainees with mental illnesses enter detention with a history of chronic health problems, drug use, and other high-risk behaviors. In addition, detention conditions may contribute to the deterioration of the physical and mental wellbeing of detainees. Researches into correctional rehabilitation indicate that the absence of structured rehabilitation in prison leads to an increased risk of re-offending, higher rates of drug abuse inside prisons and after release, and a higher risk of mental health problems.
This session will assess the treatment and the proper management of mental health disorders inside PoDs in equivalence to the community services.
Health Information System theme:
Health Information System (HIS) is fundamental and at two levels; a)the operational level to get adapted and on-time operational responses based on the data/information generated by the health staff and b) the decision-making level for health system policy development and implementation, governance and regulation, health research, human resources development, health education and training, quality of service delivery and its improvement and financing.
In prison healthcare systems, HIS is commonly lacking and if it existed, it's usually disconnected most of the time from the National health information system. This results in limiting the data generation related to morbidity and mortality of the detainees' population. Consequently, communication of evidence-based operations with higher decision-makers and the Ministry of Health is reduced, influencing poorly founded decision-making responses.
This session will examine and explore best practices in regards to health information systems in detention settings.