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Preparedness and Readiness Against COVID-19 Pandemic in Prison Institutions and Detention Centers in Southwest Ethiopia

Authors Mekonnen B, Hailemariam S, Ejigu A, Shifera N, Simieneh A

Received 19 October 2020

Accepted for publication 13 January 2021

Published 2 February 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 337—346

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJGM.S287066

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Besufekad Mekonnen,1 Shewangizaw Hailemariam,2 Amare Ejigu,2 Nigusie Shifera,3 Asnake Simieneh4

1Department of Public Health, Mizan-Tepi University, Mizan-Aman, Southern Nation Nationality and People Region, Ethiopia; 2Department of Midwifery, Mizan-Tepi University, Mizan-Aman, Southern Nation Nationality and People Region, Ethiopia; 3Department of Nursing, Mizan-Tepi University, Mizan-Aman, Southern Nation Nationality and People Region, Ethiopia; 4Department of Medical Laboratory, Mizan-Tepi University, Mizan-Aman, Southern Nation Nationality and People Region, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Besufekad Mekonnen
Department of Public Health, Mizan-Tepi University, PO Box: 260, Mizan-Aman, Southern Nation Nationality and People Region, Ethiopia
Tel +251905193372
Email besusweet12@gmail.com

Background: Prisons and detention centers in Ethiopia lack adequate hand washing, personal protective equipment, and quarantine areas. As a result, they are vulnerable to the expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its high risk for the COVID-19 pandemic, no study has been made to assess the preparedness and readiness in prison institutions and detention centers.
Methods: A cross-sectional study design mixed with a qualitative approach was conducted from May 1 to June 30, 2020. A total of four prison institutions and 17 detention centers were included in the study. A simple random sampling technique was employed to select the institutions. The data were entered into the EpiData and exported to SPSS Windows version 22 for data management and analysis. Descriptive statistics was employed for the quantitative section and content analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data.
Results: Five out of 17 detention centers and three out of four prison facilities did not fulfill the standards related to human rights. Almost all detention centers and prison facilities did not implement recommended activities of risk assessment and management of COVID-19. In addition, none of the prison facilities and detention centers had quick access to laboratory tests for suspected cases. Neither the prison facilities nor the detention centers had a contingency plan for the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, all staff working in prison facilities and detention centers mentioned that training regarding COVID-19 had not yet been given. However, in all prisons and detention centers, preventive measures such as physical distancing, utilization of hand washing facilities, wearing masks, and keeping respiratory hygiene were not practiced.

Keywords: preparedness, readiness, prisons, detentions, novel coronavirus disease

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