Categorized | National News

Ministry Denies Prison Health Scare

Officials in the Ministry of National Security on Tuesday denied that there is a scabies outbreak at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) and claimed that prison officers have neither complained about nor been treated for the infection.

Responding to a Bahama Journal exclusive story published on Monday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Carl Smith accused prison officers who reported being infected with scabies of “reporting lies.”

During a telephone interview with Mr. Smith yesterday, he said after reading the story he spoke with Medical Officer at Her Majesty’s Prisons (HMP), Dr. Hasting Johnson who said that he was “unable to confirm any medical outbreaks at the Fox Hill compound” adding that “no one had even come in to complain or report any medical issues.”

However, just recently, a group of prison officers reported that a number of them had broken out into rashes and were treated, by the prison doctor, with medication used to treat scabies.

According to the group, a number of them were given Permethrin to treat the itchy, scaly rash that had shown up on various sites across their bodies.

According to online reports Permethrin is used to treat scabies.

Mr. Smith said while he received this information from the prison clinic staff, he said he is still awaiting a written response from the prison doctor on the issue.

Meantime, a man who wanted to remain anonymous reported that this cousin had just been released from Fox Hill Prison and that he too had reported that his skin was breaking out in rashes.

While he said his cousin had not visited a doctor to confirm exactly what the condition is, he said his symptoms are similar to those previously reported.

Still, Mr. Smith said prison officials are denying any outbreak.

Scabies is a contagious skin infection that is water-related.

It is caused by a tiny and usually not directly visible parasite, which burrows under a human’s skin, causing intense allergic itching.

It is similar to the mange condition that happens in animals, particularly dogs.

Online research shows that thousands of prisons worldwide are either shut down, put on lock down and their infected inmates and workers quarantined due to scabies outbreaks each year.

Reports also indicate that scabies can be passed from person to person in various nonsexual settings in which people live in close quarters, including hospitals, nursing homes, day-care centers and homes and prisons.

Prison Superintendent Dr. Elliston Rahming is said to be out of office until Friday and his deputy Stevenson Smith did not return our phone calls up to press time.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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