The joining of Malawi and Tanzania chapters puts to five the total number of country chapters into the network alongside Zambia, Kenya and Uganda to among others foster accountability for health commitments through reporting.
Speaking during the launch of the Malawi and Tanzania Chapters and fully incorporating them into the AMNH in Mangochi, Health Systems Advocacy Manager for Amref Health Africa in Malawi, Benedict Chinsakaso said the regional network emanates from the project Amref Health Africa implements in the said five countries.
“This is part of a health systems strengthening advocacy project which aims at using advocacy; trying to work with policy makers to actually make them accountable on how they are implementing various commitments in relation to health,” he said.
Chinsakaso said Amref will equip the media with relevant tools to help them unpack issues on sexual reproductive health and human resources for health among others.
“We believe the media will help in our motive that looks at creating a society in which people can realize the highest attainable sexual and reproductive health rights,” he added.
Meanwhile, Amref Health Africa Regional Policy Advocacy Manager, Dona Anyona said the network will among others enable media practitioners on health to brainstorm heart touch topical issues in relation to right to health.
“Amref will empower the team in a number of ways including expertise, provide relevant documents, and interpretation of some clauses; they will also be expected to contribute positively on the cause,” she said.
In his remarks, Chairperson for Media Health Network, Malawi Chapter, Joseph Mazizi commended Amref Health Africa for the initiative which he said will help unveil new news reporting aspects on health.
Tanzanian Representative Orton Kiishweko
A representative of the Tanzania Chapter, Orton Kiishweko said the media network will go a long way to harmonize the media landscape in the African region to specialize in certain fields on journalism aspects.
“It will provide a comparative analysis on certain health issues, share experience on health systems across the countries and improve where need be,” said Kiishweko.
The AMNH will also provide an opportunity for the member countries to exchange ideas, write well researched investigative stories bordering on health among others.
There shall also be routine capacity building, provide and build strong network on health within countries and regions.