Malawi journalists urged to focus on health reporting: NAC opens training

A two day capacity building workshop on effective HIV/Aids reporting started on Thursday at Bridge View Hotel in Lilongwe with a call from National Aids Commission (NAC) and the Ministry of Health to journalist to  be passionate in reporting about the epidemic  issues.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, NAC Executive Director Dr. Thomas Bisika applauded the media for the good work they have done so far in disseminating HIV/Aids messages.

He therefore called upon journalists to be clear in delivering their stories on the diseases which is claiming lots of lives world wide.

“As media we should make sure that we keep our facts right and not jeopardising the information,” said Bisika.

Bisika: Values the efforts of Malawian journalists in the national response.

“We need to always know that people believe in as and whatever small thing we report they take it seriously,” he added.

Bisika also expressed excitement with governments commitment in the fight against HIV/Aids pandemic.

“I am happy to report that government is committed to mobilize more funds,” he said.

Bisika revealed that the government has already sourced an extra $208 million from the global fund and about $80 million from World Bank to help NAC in discharging its duties.

He also said President Joyce Banda will lead the nation in this year’s World Aids Day which falls on 1st December every year.

“I am pleased to inform you that Her Excellency (Joyce Banda) will lead the Malawi nation in commemorating this year’s World Aids Day so we will also rely on you to inform the general public and make it a success,” Bisika said.

Making his presentation at the workshop, Director of the department of HIV and Aids in the Ministry of Health Dr. Frank Chimbwandira warned journalists that scribers need not to report on the issues they are not sure of.

“If you don’t know these things or you don’t understand properly please don’t write because you will end up giving out wrong information,” said Chimbwandira.

According to Chimbwandira, media plays a crucial role in disseminating information to the general public hence a need to provide the people with true and accurate information.

Chimbwandira also disclosed that his ministry is working hard to make sure that positively living Malawians are able to access HIV drugs.

He also said that the exercise of transforming from previous HIV aids treatment drugs to the new medication is going on smoothly.

But he urged the media to spread the message of new drugs thoroughly because still more some people don’t know that there are new drugs in hospitals.

The workshop which has brought together about journalist from central region coming from various media houses is expected to finish on Friday 16th November 2012.

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