April 24, 2024. (Than Lwin Times)

Outbreaks of various illnesses affecting male and female inmates at Kyaikmaraw Central Prison in Mon State, appears to have been caused by the inadequate distribution of drinking and as well as utility water, sources close to the prison said.

In spite of a prolonged period of scorching heat, prison authorities refuse to provide an adequate water supply to inmates and are cutting back on rations. In addition to reduced water rations, inmates are grappling with health issues as the drinking water they receive is contaminated with tainted substances.

A source familiar with the situation revealed to Than Lwin Times that the majority of inmates are enduring itchy skin, skin rashes, and sores, as a result of the sweltering heat and the weakened resistance of prison inmates to infection.

“The most pressing issue for all inmates including political prisoners, is the shortage of water. Skin problems arise when there is insufficient drinking and utility water. Instances of chicken pox and scabs emerge due to the lack of clean water. The intense heat also leads to inmates developing rashes and sores on their skin. Nearly every dormitory in the prison faces these problems”, he said.

Due to the extreme temperatures and inadequate water supply, inmates experienced illnesses such as skin problems, diarrhea, and heatstroke, yet the prison authorities failed to provide effective treatment.

Despite repeated requests for access to clean water, the prison authorities have not made made any effort to accommodate these requests. Some financially privileged inmates decided to purchase bottled water at their own expense from the convenience store within the prison.

Some family members of the inmates reported that they were required to pay the prison authorities in order to send medicine to sick ones in Kyaikmaraw Central Prison.

Sources close to the prison report that approximately 1,500 individuals including political prisoners are currently incarcerated in the facility on various charges.

Photo: Myanmar Now

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