HC Deb 29 July 1958 vol 592 cc1131-2
21. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many detainees in Kamiti Quarry Hospital, Kenya, are suffering from tuberculosis and leprosy; how long have they been in the hospital; and what treatment they are receiving.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. John Profumo)

I assume the hon. Lady is referring to Kamiti Prison Hospital, which is the central prison hospital to which all convicts and detainees suffering from infectious tuberculosis are transferred. At 15th July there were 30 detainees suffering from tuberculosis and four suffering from leprosy in the hospital. The maximum period for which any tubercular patient has been under treatment there is two years; the lepers are new arrivals. As the medical treatment is varied and technical I will, with permission, circulate details of this in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mrs. Castle

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that information confirms that in a letter which I have received from one of the detainees in the hospital, which also complained that the treatment which the detainees are receiving is not the same or as good as that given in the civil native hospitals, and that it also alleges that medicine is refused unless the men confess, and that there is no diet for the sick different from that of the healthy? Will he examine those points carefully?

Mr. Profumo

I think that the hon. Lady knows that if she sends my right hon. Friend or me any information of this sort, we will always examine it very carefully. I hope that she will resort to that instead of making what appear to be wild allegations in the House. I assure her that when she reads my Answer, she will see that the treatment afforded is of the most up-to-date kind.

Mr. Callaghan

Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that, however undesirable he may think it, this sort of Question becomes inevitable in view of the recent discussion which we had in the House on whether Members' correspondence is privileged or not?

Mr. Profumo

If the hon. Lady likes to speak to me, that will give me even greater pleasure.

Following is the information:

Patients receive the following treatment:

(i) Tuberculosis:

  1. (a) Chemotherapy (isonicotinic acid hydrazide and para-amino-salicylic acid).
  2. (b) Pneumo-peritoneum
  3. (c) Postural treatment to assist the closure of large lung cavities
  4. (d) Symptomatic treatment.
  5. (e) Extra diet

(All T.B. cases are X-rayed every six months.)

(ii) Leprosy: Avlosulphon tablets combined with symptomatic treatment.
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