Overcrowding may have contributed to outbreak

JOHOR BARU - The current detention centre in Jalan Ayer Molek here is bursting at the seams and this could be the contributing factor for the recent meningococcal meningitis case.

There was poor ventilation and overcrowding at the detention centre due to more than 640 detainees and 200 staff, said Johor Health and Environment Com­mittee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat.

Ayub added that the state government had been urging the Home Ministry to hasten the process of finding a suitable location to build a new detention centre to replace the current one, which is more than 100 years old.

Ayub spoke to the press after attending the Communication for Behavioural Impact (Combi) dengue prevention programme, which was launched by Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin at Kolej Sains Bersekutu in Kempas here yesterday.

The detention centre will be ending its tenure at the existing facility at the end of this year and the Prisons Department had applied for a five-year extension period.

The Prisons Department health and medical team, said Ayub, had 900 detainees and staff members there and found 18 detainees suffering from fever and headaches, with two of them admitted to hospital for examination and treatment.

The other 16 have been isolated in a special cell in the centre while being given treatment and monitored daily.