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Disease outbreak hits overcrowded Wau Central prison

April 02, 2015 (WAU) – The director of Wau Central prison in South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal state, Anthony Majok Makuei, attributed an outbreak of skin diseases among inmates to overcrowding.

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The main entrance of Wau Central prison (ST)

“This central prison was only made to accommodate a number of 200 prisoners but now it is containing 500 to 700 people which made inadequate in the prison’s facilities,” Makuei told Sudan Tribune on Thursday.

“The toilets, sleeping spaces and other services are not enough for such high numbers of prisoners,” he added.

However, Makuei admitted that authorities do not screen prisoners from outside, allowing them to mix with their counterparts in the cell.

Most inmates suffered from scabies and other skins infections, a 2012 survey carried out by a medical team in Wau Central prison showed.

Makuei lauded efforts made by the International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to ensure prisoners are free from preventable diseases.

He said plans were underway to transfer some prisoners from Wau Central prison to Raga county and Western Equatoria state cells.

“We have also opened up spaces to those who are not affected and are being relocated somewhere within the town,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state government is reportedly planning to construct two prisons in Raga and Jur River counties so as to reduce over congestion among inmates.

(ST)