Oct 20, 2009, 7:08 AM
It was an opportunity, according to the national health authorities, to “advise the media” in the task of “supporting the fight against TB, HIV/AIDS and other related diseases”.
Journalists in attendance were told that “the media has key roles in informing and educating the general public about disease prevention, especially of TB and HIV/AIDS… Media practitioners need to be more aggressive in educating, informing and sensitizing the general public”.
They were reminded that the health sector in The Gambia and the media have forged a partnership over the years, which saw capacity building through training courses and sensitization of health journalists.
This has enabled journalists to contribute effectively in developing relevant messages for the public regarding TB and HIV/AIDS.
We are glad that this was the case; that journalists made their mark in the health sector, and that this was recognized and appreciated by our national health authorities and their partners, notably WHO.
Thus, on this occasion of World Tuberculosis Day, we wish to join the ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Banjul in thanking all health care workers, voluntary organizations, individuals, private sector and donor partners for their collaboration with the media in the fight against TB and other diseases in The Gambia.
The national health authorities, at the news conference, said the media and journalists could make a difference by:
Helping put TB and HIV/AIDS on the political agenda; by putting TB on the national agenda; by building a strong coalition for TB prevention and control; by advocating and promoting resource mobilization,; by providing news coverage of TB and HIV/AIDS prevention and control mechanisms.
Any keen observer of the media in this country, and of the activities of the national association of health journalists, would have seen the good work they did, and still continue to do.
What we can say, without fear of contradiction, is that the media are determined to live up to expectations, and to continue to demonstrate strong commitment in playing their part as reliable and competent partners of the public health authorities.
"A relationship requires a lot of work and commitment."