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ICRC holds regional seminar on health care in detention

By JT - Sep 19,2018 - Last updated at Sep 19,2018

AMMAN — A three-day regional seminar on healthcare in detention organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) began in Amman yesterday, according to a statement released by the organisation. 

Prison directors from 44 centres and healthcare practitioners representing 11 countries in the Middle East and North Africa attended the event. 

According to the statement, Juerg Montani, head of the ICRC delegation in Jordan, said: “As an organisation that visits detainees around the world, our experience has shown that many countries face challenges in ensuring access to adequate healthcare for detainees,” adding “however, our experience has also shown that when prison directors and healthcare practitioners have the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and experiences, they can work together to identify solutions to such challenges”.

Participants discussed specific topics present in their daily work at places of detention, including “the public health approach, the role of health staff, solitary confinement, the management of hunger strikes and dealing with communicable diseases”. 

Dr Raed Aburabi, who coordinates the ICRC's health activities in Jordan, according to the statement said: “Decent healthcare in places of detention in any country can only be achieved through collaboration between the detaining authority and the Ministry of Health,” adding, "the ICRC is committed to continue working closely with the Jordanian authorities to support their efforts to provide better healthcare for detainees”.

The ICRC said they have been organising this regional seminar in Jordan every two years since 2012. The event provides prison directors and healthcare practitioners with the venue to discuss practices and ways in which to improve access to healthcare for detainees.

The seminar included participants from Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait, the statement said. 

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