ARTHUR MWANSA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has called on the media and civil society organisations to co-exist to ensure information on sexual and reproductive health is made available to
the public in a more accurate and relevant manner.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services director of press and media development, Isaac Chipampe also implored the media to tone down on political rhetoric and instead write more on challenges affecting people, especially on their health.
Speaking during a breakfast meeting yesterday, Mr Chipampe said sexual and reproductive health matters and the magnitude on unsafe abortion in Zambia need to be disseminated and enable the public to know.
“The media and civil society must meet somewhere and interrogate critical issues and agree on policy ideas that are good for the citizens and together, advocate that these ideas are included in government policies to improve the lives of the citizens,” he said.
Mr Chipampe commended public media houses such as the Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia, ZNBC and ZANIS for dedicating space to issues of sexual and reproductive health on a weekly basis.
“It is important for both the public and private media to understand and report on facts that will empower people to make informed decisions about their reproductive health,” Mr Chipampe said.
He is happy that Government has domesticated international laws such as the marriage, penal code, anti-gender based violence acts that preserve the physical and biological rights of its people.
Mr Chipampe said it is unfortunate that young people are the most affected in terms of accessing sexual and reproductive health services in Zambia.
According to the 2013/2014 Zambia Demographic Health Survey over 62 percent of 15 to 19 year olds and 53 percent of 20 to 24 year olds do not have access to any contraceptives.
At the same event Ipas Zambia country director Grace Tambatamba said a well-informed media play an important role in disseminating critical information on sexual and reproductive health to promote a healthier nation.