You, Me and HIV/AIDS. Workshop for young TV producers concluded in Accra
- You, Me and HIV/AIDS. Workshop for young TV producers concluded in Accra
A two-week workshop on HIV/AIDS for young television producers was concluded in Accra on Friday,18 November, with a call to combat stigma and discrimination against people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.
"The fact that someone has HIV/AIDS does not mean the world has come to an end and the person will die just after contracting it," said Dr Richard Amenyah, Senior Clinical Officer of Family Health International, as he reminded participants that modern medicine is now able to help an infected person live normally and longer. He pointed out that the media has in the past always portrayed the negative aspects of the pandemic but that there are also positive aspects that could give hope to others living with the disease.
Dr. Amenyah urged the participants to find out about their status and to welcome relatives living with HIV/AIDS and emphasized that compassion and understanding contribute to a long life and reassure the patient that families will not be neglectful.
Charles Pongo, training coordinator and lead trainer is very satisfied with the workshop. "The workshop has been very useful. The dynamics between the participants, who came from various television backgrounds, was very good," he said. "They all had an excellent pre-production session which allowed them to interact openly and confidently when the time came for interviews. Fifteen scripts have been written, evaluated and finalized and the two short films which were produced during the course of the training have been screened at the closing."
Naa Abeley Addey and Owen Fred from Ghana said that the workshop has been a real eye opener and has provided young producers with a strong command on essential information about HIV and AIDS.
"I'm prepared to take on the challenge of reducing stigma and discrimination, said Mendi from The Gambia.
"It is of imperative importance for the African media to . . . use this [medium] to change even what is considered impossible more importantly in the instance of stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS", said Ana Nicodemus, a participant from Namibia.
"The media has a role to play. Now we are equipped well, let's go out there and be the real positive teachers. Away with stigma and discrimination, away!, said Polo Cheli, Lesotho.
The participants were encouraged by Karl Ampah, UNESCO Accra, to closely investigate the situation of orphans and other vulnerable children in relation to HIV and AIDS.
"Young television producers are key in the fight against HIV and AIDS. I hope you will use your skills to investigate and produce effective documentaries that can help break the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS," concluded Kofi Middleton-Mends, Deputy Director of NAFTI in his closing address.
The workshop was organized as part of UNESCO's programme Young TV Producers Global Network on HIV and AIDS in collaboration with the Ghana National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI). It brought together 15 young television producers from Ghana, The Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria, and Swaziland.
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