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The Latest Edition of "Eyes on malaria" magazine will be out very soon!! | CALL FOR ARTICLES: AMMREN is inviting journalists / writers / scientists interested in reporting on malaria to send articles for publication in its international magazine “Eyes on Malaria” and for posting on its website. Please contact the AMMREN Secretariat for more details click here. Enjoy your stay!. Volunteers and interns urgently needed to work with an NGO working in the area of malaria and health. Apply through - ammren1@gmail.com / ammren1@yahoo.com. Journalists interested in reporting on and writing articles on health issues should please reply through this email: ammren1@gmail.com

ANNOUNCEMENTS:::

TIPS ON MALARIA

  • HOW CAN MOSQUITOES BE CONTROLLED?

    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.

  • HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORN DISEASES?

    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.

  • WHO ARE AT RISK?


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.
     

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TAKING NEW TERRITORIES

The  African  Media  and  Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) has taken its eight-year  malaria  advocacy  project to the door steps of  students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) at a health forum in Accra.

The forum formed part of strategies to establish an AMMREN-GIJ Chapter for the  students and to expand AMMREN's exclusive focus on malaria to other health concerns.

A  meeting  in  Accra  in  2012,  which brought together AMMREN Country Coordinators  from  Ghana,  Senegal, Malawi,  Kenya,  Tanzania  and  The Gambia with  other  partners,  saw  the Network  charting  a  new  path  by introducing  a  new  initiative called AMMREN-Plus,  as  part  of  a  5-year strategic plan.

The  initiative is to enable  AMMREN move with the times and  extend its focus from malaria  advocacy to other neglected diseases, non-communicable  diseases  and  other areas of health and development.

To  kick  start  the  process,  a  health forum was organized at GIJ  campus under the AMMREN Plus  initiative to equip student  journalists with health reporting skills, even before they leave school. Over 100 students were at the forum, which was under the  theme, “Health as a key to Development: The Role of the  Student Journalist”. It was organised with support from the GIJ Students' Representative Council, (SRC).

The organisation of the forum at the institute is in  line with the  vision of AMMREN to become the  leader in the  provision of information on the prevention and control of  malaria and other diseases and promote timely  communication  of  research findings and out comes through strengthened  collaboration  among scientists, journalists and other stakeholders.  

GIJ is a leading training institution for journalists and public relations practitioners. It was established in the late  50s  under  the  leadership  of Ghana's first President,  Kwame Nkrumah, to  provide training in journalism  as  part  of  a  vision  to develop a patriotic cadre of journalists to play an active role in the emancipation of the African continent. Over the years,  it  has  trained  thousands  of journalists and other  communicators in and outside Ghana.

The  Rector  of  GIJ,  David  Newton expressed gratitude to  AMMREN for bringing  the  AMMREN-GIJ  Students chapter initiative to the institute.

He said the time was right to reintroduce  specialised  reporting  among student  journalists,  adding  that  the AMMREN student chapter present an opportunity for students to  specialise in health reporting.

AMMREN's Executive Secretary, Charity Binka, touched on the reality of the post MDG agenda and how journalists could play a role.

She  reminded  them  that  people  in Africa die out of ignorance,  saying it was time the media paid  attention to health  issues.  She  encouraged  the student journalists to aspire to health reporting instead of just politics.

Mrs  Binka  gave  a  background  on AMMREN and the AMMREN Plus initiative.

“AMMREN  is  excited  to  work  with students to bring timely information to people through partnership with health stakeholders and the media. She later  introduced  AMMREN's  flagship magazine,  'Eyes  on  Malaria'  and encouraged students to write for it  to elevate their profile in publications.

The Student's Representative  Council (SRC) President, Noel Nutsugah, urged his colleagues to look out for opportu- nities such as  the AMMREN initiative and  encouraged them to have a grasp of  something beyond the classroom, adding  that  students  need  to  equip themselves with extra skills to compete in the job market.

Speaking on the topic: “What is malaria?  What  can  the  media  do  to control it?”, a malaria control advocate, Mrs. Ellen Sam, told the gathering that the possibilities of Africa being  saved from malaria, would take years, unless, a  serious evaluation  is  made  on the returns from long term investments in eliminating  malaria  versus  investments  in  other  health  interventions and a strong  political will. She called for  the  strengthening of national structures  needed  for  eliminating malaria.

Mrs Sam, also a Chief  Superintendent and Principal Pharmacist at the Police Hospital  in  Accra,  told  the  students that malaria continues to be the number  one cause of morbidity  and mortality in Ghana, adding that  there are still challenges such as antimalarial drug and insecticide resistance to deal with, coupled with  cultural problems, within  communities where, there are beliefs that there is no natural cause for any mishap, where for instance, “childhood  fever  and  other  illnesses are typically attributed to witchcraft.” She noted that the media is a powerful transformational  tool  and  uniquely placed to engage in  health promotion and disease eradication.

She said the practitioners in the electronic media must create  malaria desks  for  their  morning  shows  and engage in aggressive public education to  break  the  apathy  associated  with discussions on health issues.

Mrs Sam called for continued  invest- ments  and  policies  to  maintain  and expand  access  to  tools  for  malaria prevention and treatment and touched on the need to develop new strategies to stay  ahead of emerging resistance. She  explained the benefits of making malaria treatment in under-5 children and pregnant women free.

Mrs Ernestina Agyepong, a nutritionist with the Ghana  Nutrition  Association, spoke on the topic: “Impact of lifestyles on  our health”. She said all over  the world, populations have shifted  from rural areas into cities and have become more sedentary.
 
“We are consuming increasing a mounts of processed foods and drinks. Life is all about balance. We are a sum total of what we do and what we eat,” she noted.

“Several occupations and  professions now dictate that people sit all day. Shop owners,  table  top  traders,  market women are having little active movement,  and  getting  overweight and obese. This  is now found in both children and adults, and has become a growing  public  health  concern”  she added.

Mrs  Agyepong  said  overweight  and obese persons are more likely to suffer from  cardiovascular  diseases  and other  serious  conditions.  “Societies, communities, households and individuals  who  consume  healthy diets, and who are physically active, are better able to control their weight and are  better  protected  against  chronic diseases  and  likely  to  enjoy  good health and an active life in old age.”
 
She touched on the intake of some local Ghanaian dishes and unhealthy meals and said it was important to eat certain types of food in moderation and explained that skipping meals, especially  breakfast  and  then  piling calories in the next meal, coupled with late meals,  inadequate rest and sleep with little or no leisure, poses serious health risks.

Mrs  Agyepong  urged  the  media  to sustain  coverage  of  public  health issues and promote the  well-being of people. She called on  governments to implement policies that  promote physical  activity  and  healthy  eating habits.

Editions: 
Twelfth Edition