The Health and wellbeing of the country’s prisoners were given as major boost on Friday with the handing over of more than fifty three (53) thousand US Dollars worth of medical supplies and equipment to island’s lone penal facility.
The gesture, which was made possible by the Sons and Daughters of Willikies Group, saw in excess of one hundred and forty (140) thousand EC Dollars worth of goods and materials going to the physical and emotional care of the inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison.
Speaking during the handing over ceremony at the prison, Minister of Health and the Environment-Molwyn Joseph said that for too long, prisoners have been looked upon with disdain and as second class citizens.
He said the inmates are no less important to society as those who are working in high offices in Antigua and Barbuda.
The Government official also noted that upon their release from incarceration, the former inmates must not be left by the wayside to fall back into the same ills of society, but rather given a chance to make a meaningful contribution to society.
He also suggested a registering programme which will document the skills of an inmate upon his release from prison so that he/she could contribute to society”, Minister Joseph noted.
In attendance at the function as well was His Excellency Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams, who during his brief remarks showered appreciation to all those who played a part in making Her Majesty’s Prison a better place for the inhabitants.
The Official also hoped that the medical supplies will aid in the improved health of the prison population, which will in turn help those prisoners to be better and healthier citizens.
Speeches were also made by officials from the Sons and Daughters of Willikies who noted that the move to organize the major gesture started a year ago following a conversation with nurse Irene Simon while attending a funeral in Old Road.
Speeches were also made by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Safety and Labour-Mrs Worthene George, Head Nurse at the prison, Nurse Irene Alexander Simon, Ms Verna Lake, who is president of the Sons and Daughters of Willikies Group as well as Prison Superintendent-Albert Wade.
Among the items donated are Nebulizer Machine, Dental X-Ray Panoramic, Spinal Board, Dental Chair with Units, Wheel Chairs, Adult Scale, Crutches, Computers, First Aid Kits, Blood Glucose Monitoring Systems, Sterilizer Machines, Smart Gowns, Nebulizer Kits, Bandages, Stethoscopes and a Suction Unit among others.