Launch of prison sports tournament

Venue: Matsapha Central Prison

13 February 2010- Patrick Dlamini (UNODC coordinator) discussing a point with Phindile Dlamini (Assistant Commissioner, Administration), while Clifford Vilakati (Assistant Commissioner, Operations) looks on during the launch of the prison sports tournament in Matsapha Prison.The launch was organized by UNODC together with the HIV Committee and the Sports Committee of Matsapha Central Correctional Institution. It was attended by prison staff and adult prisoners (men and women) from the 12 correctional institutions in the country and representatives from Population Services International, who made a presentation on male circumcision as an HIV prevention strategy. The event started with a small session on precautions that can be taken to prevent HIV transmission (by Mrs. Anne Motsa, Staff nurse). Then, PSI gave a presentation on male circumcision and remarks were made by UNODC.

In addition, HIV peer educators acted out a sketch on HIV prevention and treatment. The sketch demonstrated how antiretroviral treatment could protect people and the types of behaviours increased risk of contracting HIV. For example, defaulting on medication could lead to more of the virus entering the body, making the person very weak, while antiretroviral treatment could sustain the person. The peer educators wore the T-shirts UNODC had given to the Correctional Services.

A total of 80 soccer balls were presented. Between four to six balls (depending on the size of the prison) and a soccer kit were presented to each correctional institution, and two soccer balls were presented to each prison for use by staff. Other materials presented include: t-shirts, small blankets, bath towels and playing cards for prisoners, as well as desk calendars for staff, all with HIV prevention messages printed on them.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr. MD Dlamini, thanked UNODC for the support accorded to the department in the fight against HIV and for its contribution to the rehabilitation of offenders. He further applauded UNODC for its involvement and collaboration with all other partners in supporting the HIV programme of the Correctional Services and requested for further support for the future. He promised that the materials would be utilized by the prisoners and that promised that the balls and playing cards would be treated with the care necessary for them to last longer.