Health issues in Africa deserve increased attention, including effective Solutions-oriented media coverage. The heavy disease burden, worsened by COVID-19 pandemic that has spread all over Africa, could reverse gains that have been made in controlling the numerous communicable and non-communicable diseases affecting most people on the continent. Local Solutions to the health challenges may exist and are easily accessed. However, due to lack of credible Solutions-oriented information, fake news and conspiracy theories, people are unaware or mistrust them. Effective Health Solutions Journalism (SoJo) approach has a huge potential to bridge the health information gap and help people across Africa cope with various health challenges that they grapple with.
Theory of change
AHSJI’s theory of change is that “the people and policy makers will respond better to health challenges if the media constantly share with them practical and detailed examples of relevant and affordable Solutions to those challenges.” Long experience in dealing with controversial scientific issues and managing public perception has taught us that simply blaming media and public ignorance are not enough in times like this where outbreaks of pandemics seem to have become too common. In other words, it is incumbent upon the media fraternity to take the initiative to do better in effective reporting of community health issues from a Solutions perspective. Gone are the days of reporting about bad things only. People do not change by only pointing out problems besetting their communities. People want news which provide Solutions thus giving hope and not just problems
To mainstream application of Solutions Journalism to improve media coverage of health issues in Africa that would enhance the ability of communities to effectively control and eradicate communicable and non-communicable diseases.
AHSJI will continue to work with regional media houses, media associations, health ministries, hospitals, multilateral and bilateral organizations, industry, research institutions, universities (Journalism and public health schools), renowned
medical and health experts, health-based community organizations and target communities, among others. Such stakeholders will play different roles as audience, sources and disseminators of information, funders and/or advisors, among other roles.
- To build capacity of health journalists, editors and educators in Solutions Journalism (SoJo) through training and mentorship.
- To increase collaboration among journalists and communities for effective SoJo-based health reporting through community dynamic events
- To contribute to health policy processes by transparently and effectively sharing relevant information with responsible government agencies.
- To publish well researched educational
materials and disseminate curated issuespecific SoJo stories to shape public
opinion and enhance awareness on crucial health issues thereby influencing behavior change.