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Media practitioners key in fighting myths, misinformation surrounding health emergencies

The Ministry of Health has appealed to media practitioners to be in the forefront in the fight against myths and misinformation surrounding public health emergencies in Malawi.

Speaking when he opened a one-day media briefing at Mponela in Dowa on Saturday, the ministry’s Health Promotion Officer, Tobias Kunkumbira, observed that public health emergencies attract negative coverage, which, in turn, discourage people from seeking medical assistance.

Kunkumbira said it is therefore critical that media should play a key role in fighting myths and misinformation around diseases that emerge from time to time.

“The ministry recognizes the critical role that the media plays in ensuring that the public is fully aware of the prevailing health events. It is against this background that the media engagement meeting has been organized to update them on the current important health events,” he said.

Kunkumbira: Media is key in fighting misinformation emerging health issues–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu

Kunkumbira stated that it is their desire that journalists and the ministry should always work in collaboration in disseminating correct and accurate information on public health emergencies to motivate people to seek medical attention,” he said.

The ministry organized the briefing through its Health Promotion Division together with Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM) as it continues to implement preventive and control interventions for the disease outbreaks according to the National Response plans.

Nation Publications Limited (NPL) reporter Steven Pembamoyo commended the ministry for the briefing, saying it has helped journalists to understand and appreciate the importance of accurate reporting on sensitive issues such as health.

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