5 Mar 2003

Solomons government chided over prison scurvy outbreak

5:01 pm on 5 March 2003

Amnesty International is calling on the Solomon Islands Government to improve the diet of prison inmates after a suspected scurvy outbreak at Honiara's main jail.

Amnesty's spokesman for the Pacific, Heinz Schurmann-Zeggel, says nine prisoners have been diagnosed with a serious vitamin deficiency believed to be scurvy.

He says this is a condition one would no longer expect to find even in a poor country like Solomon Islands.

Mr Schurmann-Zeggell says Amnesty wants the Government to ensure there is a sustainable improvement in the prisoner's diet.

":.....It's not a problem if the prisoners are getting supplies from outside by villagers, but if they are transferred or otherwise cut off from such outside supplies by relatives, that's when problems occur."