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Medical Center in Federal Penal Service Prison Colony No.1

Friends told us about the serious problems with regards to the provision of medicines in this prison in the Kostroma region. Convicts from several different colonies were taken to this hospital including those from penal institutions for minors.About 5% of the 160 beds are set aside for children. We have contacted the doctors and Colonel Sergei Alexandrovich Korotayev, the head of the medical center. They made a list of the most necessary medicines and we calculated that they cost about $3,200. Our foundation’s director Sarra Nezhelskaya and her friends have since delivered the various medicines to the colony.

First of all, says the foundation’s director, the colony made an unexpectedly good impression on her with its cleanness and order. The convicts have built a church and are now building a library.

Sergei Alexandrovich Korotayev met our director and showed her around the medical center. He explained how hard it was to work without basic medicines, painkillers, antibiotics, antiseptics and that sometimes it was impossible to save people simply due to the lack of medicines.

The medicines we bought ran out within six weeks. We are constantly in touch with the doctors at the medical center who inform us of what medicines are running low and need replacing. They told us the medicines had come in very handy at the end of September. A very ill convict, Sergei  B. who was taken to the hospital, had developed a pancreatic cyst due to a stab wound he received before being sent to prison and his condition has deteriorated. At the end of September he was to be released but could not even walk. Doctors at a hospital in Kostroma decided no to operate on him, and then the medical center prescribed a lesser form of treatment for him — medicines from among those partly bought by our foundation and partly from money allocated from the state budget. Of course, it is impossible for Sergei to make a full recovery without an operation. Now he feels much better and is able to travel home by himself, but he will have to address a hospital in his hometown. However, the colony officials were “happy to see their patient walk out of the gates and head home taking his mother by the hand,” Sergei Alexandrovich told us by phone.

We hope to turn this one-time action into a project: first of all, we have an agent in the colony who is checking the expenses; secondly, most of the medicines needed are for intense therapy and we presume they will not be misused (many colleagues asked us when we told them about the prison colony if we were sure that all the medicines would be used for the patients and not for other purposes). The most important thing for us is that the medicines can save people’s lives on a daily basis.

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