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GRM key to address grievances in health facilities

By Petro Mkandawire

FILE PHOTO: Blantyre DHO Senior Health Promotion Officer Chrissy Banda

Blantyre, April 13: Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) Senior Health Promotion Officer, Chrissy Banda, has encouraged journalists to help in addressing grievances faced by community members in health facilities through the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM).

Banda, who is also Blantyre DHO Public Relations Officer said this on Friday in Blantyre during a media engagement aimed at updating journalists about disease outbreaks and equipping them with GRM model.

According to Banda, despite GRM; Cholera, Pink Eye and Measles are some of the disease outbreaks which the Ministry of Health considers as major outbreaks which the country is grappling with.

Banda said the media are key stakeholders in promoting community awareness on the existence of GRM by capturing and documenting grievances, investigating grievances and reporting on issues that hinder communities in health facilities regularly.

“To acknowledge the gap between hospital facilities and communities, we have engaged the media to brief them about GRM so that they should be able to address such gaps by broadcasting to the masses that in each and every hospital there is an office of Ombudsman where they can go and report criticisms in health facilities,” said Banda.

She added that the country has registered 15,955 cases of Pink Eye where about 200 cases were recorded at Chichiri Prison while Cholera surveillance update is recorded to have 240 cases with three deaths.

Nsanje, Ntcheu, Mulanje and Mangochi are still actively reporting increase of Cholera cases and Measles with Neno recording a high rate with almost 44 cases, according to Banda.

One of the journalists from Mzati Radio and Television, Francis Mangani, commended the DHO for the engagement, highlighting the importance of capacitating the media on health issues as they have power to communicate directly with the community.

“The media plays a vital role in holding institutions and healthcare providers accountable by providing accurate and up-to-date data, by reporting on data differences or operation; journalists can promote transparency and help maintain the integrity of health information in the community,” he said.

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