The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has organised a free health-screening exercise for officers and inmates of the Tamale Central Prisons to enhance their wellbeing.
The association also donated assorted medicines worth GH¢25, 000 to the infirmary at the prison and an amount of GH¢4,000 during the exercise held at the prison yard in Tamale last Tuesday.
All the inmates and officers were provided with a meal after the exercise.
61st GMA Conference
The gesture formed part of activities preceding the celebration of the 61st Annual General Conference (AGC) of the GMA scheduled to be held in Tamale from Friday to Sunday.
The conference will be on the theme: “The Health of Prisoners and Other Vulnerable Groups in Ghana: The Realities and Expectations”.
This is the second time in its 61 years that the association is holding its national conference in Tamale.
The President of the GMA, Dr Frank Ankobea, who presented the medicines on behalf of the association to the Tamale Prison, said the GMA would continue to play its role as the lead advocate for the health of all people, including prisoners. He said it was in that regard that the theme for the conference was chosen.
He said the medicines were for the prison’s infirmary to help it continue to deliver good health services to the inmates. The cash he said, was to help the prison meet its immediate needs.
The Northern Regional Commander of the Ghana Prisons Service (GPS), Deputy Director of Prisons (DDP) Mr Samuel Yaw Tannor, received the donation on behalf of the service and expressed his concern over the dismissive perception the public held about prisoners with the result that matters affecting them were relegated to the background.
He commended the GMA for the assistance package which, he said, would go a long way to meet the health needs of the inmates.
He appealed to other benevolent organisations, institutions and the general public to consider the prisons as a place for all for which their support was required to enable management to take very good care of the inmates and reform and rehabilitate them.
“I call on all and sundry to also assist and help the prisons in anyway you can in order to enable us to deliver better services,” he said.
The Chairman of the Tamale Central Prison Council, Most Rev. Peter Paul Y. Angkyier, who is also the Catholic Bishop of Damongo, said the donation was in line with the vision of the Prison Council to improve the wellbeing of the inmates.
Most Rev. Angkyier said the health of the prisoners was of concern to the council, adding that the gesture by the GMA was timely, as it underscored its lead advocate role of ensuring good health for all regardless of where they found themselves.
“It is our collective responsibility to help the prisoners in terms of their reformation and wellbeing. Indeed, support for prison officers and prisoners must be the responsibility of all Ghanaians,” he added.