Health Crisis Unveiled: HIV and Tuberculosis Outbreak In Ebonyi Prison

Daud Olatunji

The Ebonyi State Government’s shocking revelation: Six inmates with HIV and nine with tuberculosis have been identified within the confines of the Abakaliki Correctional Centre. 

This alarming discovery was disclosed by the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ben Odo, during a media briefing held at the Old Government House in Abakaliki. 

This unsettling news comes amid Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary, 27 years since Ebonyi State’s inception, and 152 days into Governor Francis Nwifuru’s term.

The Abakaliki Correctional Centre, designed to house 387 inmates, currently crams in over 1,336 detainees. During a visit in June, Odo and his ministry’s staff were appalled to find 126 inmates packed into a single room. 

Their investigation uncovered that several inmates suffered from serious illnesses. 

Disturbingly, nine had contagious tuberculosis, five were medically unwell, and six were HIV-positive, sharing cramped quarters with others.

Since June, the government has received 128 case files from the police and the court.

 Out of these, 75 cases have been filed at the High Court, with 28 criminal cases already concluded, shedding light on the urgent need for intervention in the dire conditions of the correctional center.

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