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Prison conditions and standards of health care for women and their children incarcerated in Zimbabwean prisons

Mhlanga-Gunda, R, Kewley, S, Chivandikwa, N and Van Hout, MC Prison conditions and standards of health care for women and their children incarcerated in Zimbabwean prisons. International Journal of Prisoner Health. ISSN 1744-9200 (Accepted)

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Purpose The Sub Saharan (SSA) region remains at the epicentre of the HIV epidemic and disproportionately affecting women, girls and prisoners. Women in prison are a minority group and their special health needs relating to gender sensitivity, reproductive health, their children, and HIV/AIDs are frequently neglected. Design/methodology/approach A qualitative study using focus group discussions and key informant interviews explored the perspectives of women in prison, correctional officers, correctional health professionals, and non-governmental organisations around prison conditions and standards of health care whilst incarcerated in a large female prison in Zimbabwe. Narratives were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Findings Three key themes emerged: ‘Sanitation and hygiene in the prison’; ‘Nutrition for women and children’ and ‘Prison based health services and health care’. Divergence or agreement across perspectives around adequate standards of sanitation, hygiene, quality and adequacy of food, special diets for those with health conditions, access to healthcare in prison and the continuum of care across incarceration and community are presented. Practical implications Understanding prison environmental cultures which shape correctional staff understanding and responsiveness to women in prison, environmental health conditions and access to healthcare is vital to improve conditions and continuum of care in Zimbabwe. Originality/value Policy and technical guidance continues to emphasise the need for research in SSA prisons to garner insight into the experiences of women and their children, with a particular emphasis on the prison environment for them, their health outcomes and healthcare continuum. Our unique study responded to this need.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1117 Public Health and Health Services, 1602 Criminology, 1605 Policy and Administration
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV 8301 Penology. Prisons. Corrections
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: Emerald
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2020 09:29
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2020 09:29
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12664

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