LAHORE: Kot Lakhpat Jail started providing medical treatment to prisoners suffering from chronic piles as of May 23, Assistant Superintendent Rana Abdul Latif told The Express Tribune.
He said the prison had requested Dr Afzaal Bashir Bajwa, a surgeon from Mayo Hospital, to see the patients every Thursday. Dr Bajwa operated on 22 condemned prisoners suffering from piles on Thursday, Latif said.
Condemned prisoners were being treated on priority as they could not be taken out of the hospital even for treatment, unless they obtained permission from the Home Department, he said.
Several prisoners had been complaining about the disease for some time and had filed applications for permission to seek treatment outside of the jail, as there was no facility for surgery for piles at the jail hospital. Their applications, however, were rejected.
Prison authorities have now requested a surgeon from Mayo Hospital to visit the prison once a week to operate on prisoners suffering from the condition.
The decision was taken in view of alarming rise in the number of patients suffering from the disease. Most of these patients, a jail official requesting anonymity told The Express Tribune, said they had contracted the disease during their incarceration.
A spokesperson for jail administration however said that there were few prisoners who had contracted the disease during their imprisonment, while most of the patients already had piles when they were incarcerated. The decision to call in a doctor to operate on patients was taken to facilitate the prisoners, he said. Pakistan Medical Society president Masood Sheikh told The Express Tribune that the prisoners probably contracted the disease due to an unhealthy lifestyle and lack of exercise.
A lack of dietary fibre, sitting in one place for long periods and lifting heavy weights could lead to the disease. Chronic cough, hepatitis and constipation could be among the reasons why these patients got piles, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2013.