African journalists challenged on TB fight – Capital Radio Malawi
18 June, 2024

African journalists challenged on TB fight

Mahimbo speaking during the training

Journalists in the Eastern, Central and Southern African regions have been urged to enhance information dissemination on the spread and prevention of Tuberculosis in the mining sector.

Communications and advocacy specialist for the East Central and Southern Africa Heath Systems ECSA-HC Justin Mahimbo made the call in Johannesburg, South Africa during a two-day media sensitization meeting.

The two-day meeting has drawn together over 30 Journalists from 13 countries in the three regions including Malawi.

Among other critical issues under discussion are progress made in the TB fight in the Mining sector in the Southern African region phase 3, funding and challenges as the project is phasing out in 2024.

According to Mahimbo, Media plays a critical role in information dissemination, hence the need to enhance modern health reporting mechanisms in their journalistic skills.

“Media is a key stakeholder in awareness creation, sensitization and drive the TB agenda for a thorough fight,’’ said Mahimbo.

Journalists during one of the training sessions-Picture by Capital FM

One of the participants at the meeting Limpho Sello a Journalist working with the Mail online in Lesotho has hailed the ECSA-HC for the timely eye opening and refresher meeting, which she observes has increased her knowledge on TB and related issues reporting.

‘’I have been reporting on Tuberculosis, but there have been gaps in terms of the information used because it has been business as usual,’’ she Said.

According to research done by the World Health Organization WHO, the prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis is high among both artisanal and formal miners than in the general population, a development which calls for more measures to fight the disease from the mining sector side.

Tuberculosis in the mining sector has long been recognized as a problem in Southern Africa including in Malawi, hence the signing of a declaration in TB in the Mining Sector TIMS in 2012.

With the formation of a regional coordination mechanism, two phases of the TB in the mining sector have been implemented and the third launched last year still under implementation in 16 countries in the region.

The sole purpose is mitigating the disease among both formal and artisanal mine workers, who are susceptible due to the working conditions.

It is estimated that 8 SADC member states; Angola, DRC, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania  are among the 30 countries globally with a high TB burden.

The TIMS project is also a response to the World Health Organization WHO’s call for countries to end Tuberculosis by 2030 as a global public health challenge.

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