13 May 2003

Mystery deaths at a PNG jail

5:58 pm on 13 May 2003

Two inmates at the Buimo jail near Lae have died in the past week and several others are seriously sick from an illness Papua New Guinea authorities fear could become an epidemic.

The Post Courier reports that the Jail Commander Samson Jaro says the two prisoners had died a day apart after complaining of severe stomach pains and breathing difficulties.

Mr Jaro says there are another 10 prisoners who are sick and being cared for in the cells because the Angau General Hospital is unable to admit them.

He says the 10 that remain ill have been complaining of abdominal pains, high body temperatures, heavy breathing and numbness in their limbs.

Mr Jaro says he had on numerous occasions raised concerns and requested health inspector visits but they have never come.

Meanwhile the prisioners are claiming the two men died because they were denied medical treatment.