Access to information critical for media in fighting HIV- Deputy Minister Mangwiro

ADMORE MBONDA |  2 months ago | local

The deputy minister of Health and Child Care Doctor Mangwiro has said access to information was critical for the media in fighting HIV/Aids in the country.

Mangwiro said this in his opening remarks at the National Aids Council (NAC) Media workshop currently being held at Orange Groove motel in Chinhoyi.

He said he was honored and privileged to officially open the workshop to update Journalists on the current progress and trends in the national response to HIV/AIDS.

He said the media is critical in the response to HIV and AIDS in as far as information dissemination is concerned.

Mangwiro said as a medical personnel, we can come up with all sorts of intervention but if these are not properly relayed to the people, all efforts will be in vain.

" Therefore, when you put pen to paper know that you are actually saving lives," said Mangwiro.

He added;

" This workshop is taking place under altered conditions given the Covid-19 epidemic, which has created a new normal,"

Mangwiro said despite it's devastation and potential to reverse most health and development gains recorded since independence, he was happy that government has faced the beast in the eye and achieved some commendable progress against the pandemic.

" What is imperative is that we should always abide by the WHO and government containment measures in place,"

He said the anxiety the nation is experiencing in the country today due to Covid-19 is not totally different from that we experienced when HIV was first identified.

" Despite that, we managed to turn the tide and built a resilient response to HIV for which our country has been recognized as a best practice," said Mangwiro.

He added:

" I am sure we can rely on the experience we garnered in the response to HIV to effectively confront Covid-19,"

He said one of these experiences relates to the importance and role of the media in disseminating health information.

He said the emergence of Covid-19 had once again brought to the fore the relevance and role of the media.

" As the medical and media fraternities,let us continue to work collectively to tame these two epidemics.

" The promotion of relevant behavior changes such as social distancing, hand sanitization, wearing of face masks and the uptake of vaccination is a difficult endeavor in the face of hardened behaviors.But we can not fold our hands as Journalists- we have to scale up and be innovative," said Mangwiro