ID: NEWS-08072024 08 Jul 2024

ICPA partnered with International Committee of the Red Cross to support the first African Health in Detention Conference

ICPA is proud to announce the successful conclusion of the First African Conference on Health in Detention, held from July 3 to July 5, 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya. This landmark event brought together over 120 delegates from more than 25 countries.

The conference emphasised the critical importance of health in detention settings and shared our collective knowledge and strategies to improve healthcare for people deprived of liberty. The ICRC's expertise in humanitarian issues and our shared vision for better health outcomes in detention facilities provided a strong foundation for the conference discussions. The ICPA was well-represented by Commissioner-General Raphael T. Hamunyela, Steven Van De Steene, and Ivan Calder. 
One of the major outcomes of the conference was the establishment of the African Health Network. This new entity aims to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among healthcare professionals working in detention settings across the continent. The ICPA's Health Network Chair, Ivan Calder, was voted into a significant role within this executive team, underscoring our organization's influence and commitment to advancing health in detention.
The conference was not only an opportunity to share knowledge but also a platform to strengthen relationships with other key stakeholders.The resilience and dedication of the delegates were evident, as they actively participated in discussions and networking sessions. This collective effort underscored the importance of a united approach to addressing health challenges in detention settings.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to our Health Network for their unwavering commitment and active involvement. Their dedication not only enhanced the profile of the ICPA but also fostered greater awareness and participation in our upcoming events. The hard work and passion of our Health Network members was instrumental in making this conference a resounding success.
The conference concluded with a set of comprehensive recommendations aimed at improving health outcomes in detention settings. These included reinforcing the role of healthcare networks, treating all individuals with dignity and respect, and integrating innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and electronic data capture tools to enhance healthcare delivery. The recommendations also emphasized the importance of holistic patient care, considering biopsychosocial aspects, and supporting staff in understanding and implementing international standards such as the Nelson Mandela Rules, Bangkok Rules, and Havana Rules.
Looking ahead, we are committed to building on the insights gained from the conference and continuing our work to promote health and human dignity in places of detention. The collaborations and knowledge shared during this event have laid a strong foundation for future initiatives. We are excited to see the positive impact that these efforts will have on the health and well-being of individuals in detention across Africa.
In conclusion, the First African Conference on Health in Detention was a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to improve healthcare in detention settings. We are grateful for the support and collaboration of our partners, particularly the ICRC, and the dedication of our Health Network. Together, we will continue to champion the cause of health and human dignity for all individuals deprived of their liberty.