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Prisoners Interactive Health Fair

On Wednesday we told you about the quarter million dollar investment in the first prison court. The building and videoconferencing equipment, complete with a server room, bathrooms, attorney/client meeting rooms and with a live prison to court video feed came courtesy of the US Embassy via the Central American Regional Security Initiative. Today the health of the inmates was the focus of the Kolbe Foundation and a dozen organizations that went behind the prison walls for educational and testing sessions. Love News spoke to the prisoners who were elated for the interactive and educational, health dialogue.

Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “80% of the prison population is taking part in the Health Fair inside the Belize Central Prison. Kolbe Foundation CEO Virgilio Murilo indicated that twelve organizations both Government and non Government are educating the men and women in their care.”

Kolbe Foundation CEO Virgilio Murillo: “The purpose of the Health Fair is to educate the inmates with respect to disease prevention and make them aware of the different types of diseases that are around such as TB, diabetes, hypertension and those kinds of things. We have several from the Ministry of Health such as the pharmacy from the Central Health Region, Mental Health Department, the Public Health Department and we also some private organizations.”

Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “What booths are you interested in looking at?”

Charleston Arzu – 21 year old Inmate: “Well, basically mental health because without mental health there is no health at all.”

Jose Sanchez – Reporter: Being behind bars, something that is significant, other than that are you looking forward to learning a little bit more or getting tested? I understand that they are also doing free testing as well.”

Charleston Arzu – 21 year old inmate: “Most definitely because we need to test ourselves to know that we are in proper structure. I have been here for three years and two months now. I did all the testing I can and so I know my status and most definitely I will be interacting with these guys and there are always chances for us to learn new things every day, every day is a new chapter for me.”

Charleston Arzu – 21 year old Inmate: “Yoga will be something new to you as well?”

Charleston Arzu – 21 year old Inmate: “Sure but from what I know it is good for the body and good for mental health as well.”

Jose Zetina – 56 year old Inmate: “It is very educative and is allowing us to understand the issues concerning our health and how to live a healthier life. We are receiving all the information necessary for us to be equipped. For this fair, it is a blessing here for us here at the Kolbe.”

Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “Any particular booth you are interested in seeing?”

Jose Zetina – 56 year old Inmate: “The portion over that side, it speaks about the internal organs and how we can prevent illnesses that could contribute to severe sickness down the road, how we could prevent it and it is very interesting. It is a blessing to have such a program like this within the prison here.”

Alex Bautista – 33 year old: “Important because I get the opportunity to work at the Medic Center and I learned a lot of stuff. I can help not only me but my peoples out there in society because working in the pharmacy gave me a lot of knowledge about medication and I help my people in society to deal with any little sickness they come across with.”

Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “What particular booth are you interested in learning about?”

Alex Bautista – 33 year old: Well actually like how I am part of the medic staff here at the Kolbe Foundation we touch on most of it because we prepare for this fair. We go to Dr. Novelo to study and learn a lot of things that they are talking about here in this place.”

Jose Sanchez Love News.

The prisoners were rotated in groups and the group sessions included participation from the women’s section and the Wagners Youth Facility section of the prison.