Journalists in Africa advocate for improved health care for migrants

Filed under: Health & Nutrition,Latest News |

The Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) has called on African governments to take up a ‘leave no one behind’ approach on health care programs to also include migrants.

The body with over 150 journalists from across African countries including Zambia, made the call during a three-day online summit held between 23 and 25 April.

In a statement released on Wednesday, JIFORM said;

“In view of the extensive deliberations on the various topics, the summit recommended that nations should adopt an inclusive approach to include provision for the health care for migrants irrespective of their status whether regular or irregular.

The body also called for zero tolerance on coronavirus induced stigma:

“In addition, they should avoid the stigmatization of migrants as carriers of the disease and it is critical for the governments in Africa, to evacuate its citizens who have expressed the desire to return their home countries during the current pandemic irrespective of their migrants’ status.”

Speaking about food security, the journalists encouraged their governments to be serious on agriculture development and not to be good planners, while being bad implementers.

In the statement, the body urged media professionals to focus more on the impact of COVID-19 on regular and irregular migrants and raise awareness on the challenges that are less reported.

“We also recommend that journalists must dig deep into issues of migration and report factual matters and embrace advocacy roles and they must be wary of the politicization of the pandemic towards the xenophobic act.

“In addition, Governments and other stakeholders should consider media professionals as part of the front liners in the fight against COVID-19 and back them with adequate remuneration and protection,” read part of the statement.

The body called on fellow media practitioners to cultivate new methods in line with the work from home concept and online engagements.

The organization said there is a need to develop economic models suitable to the current situation and good enough to kick-start economies after the pandemic.

“In order to stem the tide of irregular migration, this is the ideal time for Governments to take advantage of the reality of the moment by encouraging local or home industrialization to provide jobs for the teaming youths with focus on local consumption that would lessen dependency on foreign goods,” read the statement.

“Further, employers should explore the possibility of employment terms renegotiation with loyal and dedicated employees instead of terminating their appointments. We must emphasize Employers’ loyalty as this has great consequences on the future of every organization.

“Nations should intervene to provide economic stimulus packages for organizations, particularly the SMEs and tax holiday for manufacturers as a way of cushioning the effect of COVID-19,” added the statement.


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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31