The USAID MOMENTUM Tikweze Umoyo Project conducted a week-long training to build the capacity of media practitioners with health promotion knowledge.
Opening the workshop in Mzuzu, Deputy Chief of Party for Momentum Tikweze Umoyo Project, Patrick Mwagomba recognized the role of media in health promotion and emphasized the need for the media to have the right information and skills to enable them to produce programs and content that are engaging –and with lasting impact to the target communities.
He added that the training was aimed at strengthening the capacity of journalists to create relevant programs to empower communities on their rights and give them the voice to demand quality health services.
‘The media is expected to create demand and engage the targeted communities on the need to know their health rights and ask for them from duty bearers. We noticed some gaps, strengths and opportunities that we needed to work on as we implement our social behaviour change strategy in this project, hence the training,’ Mwagomba.
One of the journalists, Yankho Phiri, working for Story Club FM, acknowledged that it was really important to strengthen the capacity of journalists in health promotion since they have a responsibility to communicate accurate information to allow communities to make informed decisions on health-related issues. ‘I am optimistic that the training will equip us with information and knowledge that will improve our news reporting skills, especially on health issues. We have a lot of work to do and I believe this training has come at the right time to strengthen our skills,’ Phiri said.
The MOMENTUM Tikweze Umoyo project is a five-year project focusing on reducing maternal, newborn, and child morbidity and mortality in Malawi, targeting five districts of Chitipa, Karonga, Nkhotakota, Kasungu and Salima. It is made possible with the support of the American people through USAID and is being implemented by Amref Health Africa in Malawi in collaboration with a consortium of six partners namely: WaterAid, Youth Wave, Family Health Services, Emmanuel International, FPAM and D-Tree.
Story by Deliby N. Chimbalu, Communications Manager – MOMENTUM Tikweze Umoyo