Investigations Malawi24 recently conducted at Mzimba and Mzuzu prisons have established that inmates who are living with HIV are not being given balanced diet.
It has also been established that due to insufficient food supply in the stated prisons, inmates are not being given adequate food.
According to some inmates Malawi24 managed to talk to, the situation is subjecting their lives to more health risks as their body immune systems are becoming prone to numerous diseases.
“We were told to be living positively with the virus, but then how can we do so, when we continue being fed poorly? We are heavily affected by the diet here,” said one inmate at Mzimba prison.
Another prisoner at Mzuzu prison told our team during a recent visit that he fails to follow the recommended dosage of ARVs because of the bad diet.
He said health experts advised him to be eating balanced diet if the life prolonging drugs are to work effectively for his immune system.
“So with beans and vegetables everyday, I feel it’s useless to take the drugs because they won’t work effectively,” he said.
Separate findings exposed how inmates are subjected to various diseases owing to congestion.
At Mzuzu prison, there are more than 500 prisoners against the recommended number of 250 a situation which inmates say puts them at risk of contracting various diseases.
“Skin and other respiratory diseases easily spread here. We are very congested. Prison is hell in Malawi,” said an inmate.
Health expert, Adams Chirwa, concurred with the prisoners on the raised concerns and described the worries as genuine.
“It is recommended for someone who is HIV positive to be having a balanced diet, otherwise, the consequences of failing to follow the procedure might be at owner’s risk,” he stressed.
Prison authorities in the northern region did not respond to a questionnaire we sent them.