"There was a radical change in the past two years and the TB rate has diminished twice," said Kononets when speaking at a press-conference in RIA Novosti, timed to the World TB Day on March 24.
He said that merely five years before one third of all TB cases were prison inmates while now this index stands at one third. He reported that there are now less than 70,000 people ill with TB among the prisoners and defendants.
"When people are placed at detainment cells, 80 percent of TB cases are diagnosed for the first time," said Kononets.
He also appreciated the activities of international non-government organisations taking part in the prevention of TB among the inmates.
"The Russian Red Cross is busy helping people just fresh from prisons to cure TB or to prevent it," said Raisa Lukutseva, deputy chief of the Russian Red Cross board. She also reported that the Red Cross was raising money for TB treatment.