About 53 of the 669 inmates of the Central Prison in Gombe have been treated for scabies, following an outbreak of the disease at the facility.
The Director of Public Health in the state, Joshua Abubakar, disclosed this on Wednesday at a ceremony to flag off a programme to curb the spread of the disease among the inmates.
Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by tiny mites, called the human itch mites, that burrow into the skin. The main symptom of the disease is intense itching.
At the event which also witnessed the donation of intervention materials by the state government, Mr. Abubakar said that the disease at the facility had become an issue of public concern.
He said the disease was commonly found in overcrowded places like boarding schools, prisons and similar public institutions.
“The inmates are our brothers and sisters; we need to eradicate the disease among them before it extended to other communities” the director said.
According to him, there would be health education on personal hygiene for the inmates and fumigation of the prison.
“We want to prevent subsequent outbreak” Mr. Abubakar said.
The state Commissioner for Health, Kennedy Ishaya, while presenting the health intervention materials to the Deputy Controller of the prison, Abba Mohammed, said Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo was passionate about public health issues in the state.
Mr. Ishaya said the government was aware of the challenges at the prison, especially, in the area of health and was prepared to intervene at all times.
Earlier, Governor Dankwambo had said his administration would continue to assist the inmates.
The governor, represented by the commissioner for Special Duties, Usman Ribadu, urged the inmates to make proper use of the health items being given to them.
The deputy controller in charge of the prison, Mr. Mohammed, who received the health intervention, said 53 out of the 669 inmates in the prison, were infected by the disease.
He promised the state government that the items would be utilized for the purpose they were meant to serve.
The items provided include cartons of antiseptic, cartons of Tetmosol soap, bags of detergent and chemicals for the fumigation of the prison.