Jobs at SCA's prison clinic provides greater freedom and money

In three years, Siadalam Wafea been imprisoned without being convicted of any crime.

“I had just finished high school and was working on the entrance exams to the university when I was arrested, accused of involvement with the insurgents”, he says.

Siadalam Wafea denies vigorously that he would be criminal. In prison he have behaved well and it has given him a job at SCA's medical clinic inside the prison. This gives increased opportunities to receive visits greater freedom to receive visits and use the telephone. In addition, work means a monthly income.

“Siadalam Is liked by everyone in the prison”, says the anonymous prison officers who follow us during the visit.

In Laghman Province SCA is responsible thing for all the medical care in the province. The small clinic at the prison in Mehtarlam is a small part of the whole picture. The clinic provides care to 320 inmates, 4 of them women. The staff consists of a doctor, a nurse and Siadalam as an assistant.

Inmates in need of some kind of help is constantly dropping in at the clinic. A newcomer feel pain throughout the body. He has been arrested just two days ago, accused of being involved in a bomb attack; and claims to have been beaten by people from the security forces. He is be examined by the doctor Faridoon Yaar, who notes that he is not suffering from any serious ailment, and he must content himself with painkillers for the pain.

Inmates who receive some form of serious illness are referred on to the hospital in Mehtarlam. Prison clinic can only provide basic care. In an adjacent room are two beds, and so there is a small medicine chest. Faridonon Yaar lists what is written on the wish list:

“We need oxygen, and we need more medications for mental illnesses, now there is only one kind of antidepressant medication and some sedatives. Many prisoners need dental care, and we can’t help them with that.

“In Addition, we want to raise”, says Faridoon Yaar, and the other two staff members agree.

But the assistent Siadalam Wafea do not complain about conditions in the prison, at least not when there are so many who listen to what he says. Work at the clinic has taught him to give injections and treat minor injuries. A knowledge that can be useful in the future.

“I would be happy if one day I could educate myself to be a doctor or nurse”, he says.