The Open Infectious Diseases Journal


ISSN: 1874-2793 ― Volume 9, 2015

Infections in Prison in Low and Middle Income Countries: Prevalence and Prevention Strategies

The Open Infectious Diseases Journal, 2010, 4: 33-37

Oscar O. Simooya

Copperbelt University, P.O. Box 21692, Kitwe, Zambia.

Electronic publication date 15/9/2010
[DOI: 10.2174/1874279301004010033]

Prisoners throughout the world are at a greater risk of infectious diseases compared to communities outside. Hepatitis C (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) have attracted great attention because of their potential to cause great morbidity and mortality in prison populations.

However, prisons are not closed worlds. Many people enter and leave prisons every day and many prisoners themselves stay only a short period in prison and return to their families. Giving prisoners adequate treatment for infectious diseases is good medical practice and provides public health benefits to the community.

There are several factors that may fuel the highly infectious environment in prisons and include: 1) poor health services; 2) overcrowding and congestion; 3) high risk behaviors; 4) security vs public health concerns and 5) lack of public empathy for prisoners. This paper looks at the challenge of infectious diseases in prisons in low and middle income countries (LMICs).

Three percent of the world’s population is infected with HCV but in prisons the prevalence appears to be much higher ranging from 4% in Indian prisons to 12.3% in prisoners in Nigeria. A review of HIV prevalence in 152 LMICs found information on HIV prevalence in only 75 (50%) of these countries. HIV prevalence was greater than 10% in prisons in 20 countries. TB infection rates in prison are equally high and may be up to 100 times those outside prison.

Overcrowding is a major problem and non-custodial sentences must be considered in order to decongest prisons. Furthermore, standard medical treatment and prevention measures for HCV, HIV and TB must be provided to prisoners in order to reduce the burden of infections in prisons. Linkages between prison health and national health services would go a long way in addressing the threat of infections to prison populations.

Prisoners go to jail to be punished for offending society and not to get infectious diseases. Health care equivalent to that found outside prison must be provided to these individuals.

Download PDF


"Open access will revolutionize 21st century knowledge work and accelerate the diffusion of ideas and evidence that support just in time learning and the evolution of thinking in a number of disciplines."

Daniel Pesut
(Indiana University School of Nursing, USA)

"It is important that students and researchers from all over the world can have easy access to relevant, high-standard and timely scientific information. This is exactly what Open Access Journals provide and this is the reason why I support this endeavor."

Jacques Descotes
(Centre Antipoison-Centre de Pharmacovigilance, France)

"Publishing research articles is the key for future scientific progress. Open Access publishing is therefore of utmost importance for wider dissemination of information, and will help serving the best interest of the scientific community."

Patrice Talaga
(UCB S.A., Belgium)

"Open access journals are a novel concept in the medical literature. They offer accessible information to a wide variety of individuals, including physicians, medical students, clinical investigators, and the general public. They are an outstanding source of medical and scientific information."

Jeffrey M. Weinberg
(St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, USA)

"Open access journals are extremely useful for graduate students, investigators and all other interested persons to read important scientific articles and subscribe scientific journals. Indeed, the research articles span a wide range of area and of high quality. This is specially a must for researchers belonging to institutions with limited library facility and funding to subscribe scientific journals."

Debomoy K. Lahiri
(Indiana University School of Medicine, USA)

"Open access journals represent a major break-through in publishing. They provide easy access to the latest research on a wide variety of issues. Relevant and timely articles are made available in a fraction of the time taken by more conventional publishers. Articles are of uniformly high quality and written by the world's leading authorities."

Robert Looney
(Naval Postgraduate School, USA)

"Open access journals have transformed the way scientific data is published and disseminated: particularly, whilst ensuring a high quality standard and transparency in the editorial process, they have increased the access to the scientific literature by those researchers that have limited library support or that are working on small budgets."

Richard Reithinger
(Westat, USA)

"Not only do open access journals greatly improve the access to high quality information for scientists in the developing world, it also provides extra exposure for our papers."

J. Ferwerda
(University of Oxford, UK)

"Open Access 'Chemistry' Journals allow the dissemination of knowledge at your finger tips without paying for the scientific content."

Sean L. Kitson
(Almac Sciences, Northern Ireland)

"In principle, all scientific journals should have open access, as should be science itself. Open access journals are very helpful for students, researchers and the general public including people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals. The articles are high standard and cover a wide area."

Hubert Wolterbeek
(Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)

"The widest possible diffusion of information is critical for the advancement of science. In this perspective, open access journals are instrumental in fostering researches and achievements."

Alessandro Laviano
(Sapienza - University of Rome, Italy)

"Open access journals are very useful for all scientists as they can have quick information in the different fields of science."

Philippe Hernigou
(Paris University, France)

"There are many scientists who can not afford the rather expensive subscriptions to scientific journals. Open access journals offer a good alternative for free access to good quality scientific information."

Fidel Toldrá
(Instituto de Agroquimica y Tecnologia de Alimentos, Spain)

"Open access journals have become a fundamental tool for students, researchers, patients and the general public. Many people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals benefit of them on a daily basis. The articles are among the best and cover most scientific areas."

M. Bendandi
(University Clinic of Navarre, Spain)

"These journals provide researchers with a platform for rapid, open access scientific communication. The articles are of high quality and broad scope."

Peter Chiba
(University of Vienna, Austria)

"Open access journals are probably one of the most important contributions to promote and diffuse science worldwide."

Jaime Sampaio
(University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal)

"Open access journals make up a new and rather revolutionary way to scientific publication. This option opens several quite interesting possibilities to disseminate openly and freely new knowledge and even to facilitate interpersonal communication among scientists."

Eduardo A. Castro
(INIFTA, Argentina)

"Open access journals are freely available online throughout the world, for you to read, download, copy, distribute, and use. The articles published in the open access journals are high quality and cover a wide range of fields."

Kenji Hashimoto
(Chiba University, Japan)

"Open Access journals offer an innovative and efficient way of publication for academics and professionals in a wide range of disciplines. The papers published are of high quality after rigorous peer review and they are Indexed in: major international databases. I read Open Access journals to keep abreast of the recent development in my field of study."

Daniel Shek
(Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

"It is a modern trend for publishers to establish open access journals. Researchers, faculty members, and students will be greatly benefited by the new journals of Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. in this category."

Jih Ru Hwu
(National Central University, Taiwan)

Browse Contents

Webmaster Contact:
Copyright © 2017 Bentham Open