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CSOs take front seat in fight against malaria

Civil society groups involved in the fight against malaria have served notice that they are no longer interested in being recipients of services. They say the time has come to be part of the actors and influencers in the global decision-making stage in the malaria elimination agenda.

They are therefore driving a global movement to bring on board and connect with civil societies to make a case for a united front to influence governments and decision makers.

Madam Olivia Ngou, Global Coordinator of Civil Society Network for Malaria Elimination (CS4ME), made their position clear when speaking to a group of journalists at a training programme in Geneva.

She said women and children are dying from malaria and there is the need to hold governments accountable, as this is not acceptable and also more needs to be done to sustain donor commitment to the fight against malaria.

She said CS4ME was created last year during the first ever World Malaria Congress held in Australia where they decided that all civil society groups should unite for better outcomes in the global response to malaria.

The mission of CS4ME is to make malaria programmes and interventions more effective, sustainable, equitable, innovative, inclusive of civil society, community-based, human rights-based, gender-sensitive and adequately funded.

It also aims to solicit for an effective multi-sectoral response for malaria elimination with empowered civil society and communities as stakeholders.

Meanwhile, Madam Clar Ni Conchaile, a communications consultant and former features editor for Reuters, in a session with the journalists, urged the media to try to move away from pessimistic news and focus on “solutions journalism”.

According to her too much reportage on bad news could be counter-productive as it could lead to despair.

She said media practitioners should be forward looking by looking for and reporting on solutions and positive news.

She however urged them not to lose focus on their watchdog role and uncompromising reportage.

Madam Ni Conchaile also told them to keep an open mind and not be hostile when conducting interviews in order to get the best out of their efforts.

By Eunice Menka, in Geneva, Switzerland
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