HEALTH PROTECTION OF PRISONERS IN THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
INTRODUCTION: Prisoners’ health is one of the major challenges of public health systems because of prisoners’ greater care needs due to the poor economic conditions connected to the numerous risks and higher morbidity and mortality related to incarceration. Malnutrition, infectious diseases, overcrowding, strict custodial physical infrastructure, and limited access to basic health services, among other factors, contribute to a worsening of the physical and mental health of prisoners
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to ascertain leading health problems, care needs, and the degree of health protection used in the prison population of the Republic of Macedonia.
METHODS: The research is a cross-sectional study of the prison population, composed of 550 prisoners, with 100 situated in Bitola’s prison, 100 in the prison of Prilep, 50 women imprisoned in the women’s section of the correctional institution, Idrizovo, and another 300 prisoners from Idrizovo.
RESULTS: The most important reasons for causing illness amount examinees were the conditions in prison (as considered by 73.0% of respondents), drug use (by 50.4% of respondents), stress (by 45.6% of respondents), and improper nutrition (by 43.6% of respondents).
CONCLUSION: Findings suggest a poor health status for prisoners due to specific problems and care needs.
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