Behind the wall: Africa’s prison health crisis

MSF149528 main
Overview of an overcrowded cell portrayed early in the morning (6am) The prisoners are waiting the authorization to go out to the common space after some 14 hours spent in critical condition. Copyright: Luca Sola/MSF

Send to a friend

The details you provide on this page will not be used to send unsolicited email, and will not be sold to a 3rd party. See privacy policy.

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsListen on StitcherListen on OvercastListen on Amazon MusicListen on CastboxListen on Podcast AddictListen on Pocket CastsListen on iHeartRadioListen on PandoraRSS Feed

Episode 37

Africa’s prisons are hotbeds of disease and hunger  problems that have been heightened by COVID-19, a lack of resources and poor planning, health and rights advocates tell Africa Science Focus.

This week, reporter Charles Pensulo speaks to a former inmate of Malawi’s notoriously overcrowded prisons, who tells us what life was like behind the walls. We hear about the public health threat from tuberculosis and HIV from Thokozile Phiri-Nkhoma, the executive director of Facilitators of Community Transformation, while Alexious Kamangila from the legal non-profit Reprieve tells us why the poorest members of Malawi’s society still find themselves trapped in the system.

Malawi Prisons Service has acknowledged that it continues to face operational challenges, including inadequate funding, dilapidated infrastructure and old legislation, despite efforts to implement international prison standards

And, in this week’s Q&A segment, Cindy from St Therese Girls’ Secondary School in Zambia has a fantastic question about coronavirus.

Is there something you want to know about life, health or science in Africa? Send us your questions from anywhere in the world and we’ll find an expert to answer them — text or voice message via WhatsApp to +254799042513.

Africa Science Focus, with Selly Amutabi.

This programme was funded by the European Journalism Centre, through the European Development Journalism Grants programme, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation