Veteran Journalist Kurgat Marindany has been elected chair of Africa Media Network for Health (Kajiado Chapter) which will closely work with Amref, Writes KNU Reporter.
The network, which is a brainchild of Amref has established similar clusters across the country to work with county governments to promote health issues.
Marindany with his team of local journalists drawn from all media houses represented in Kajiado will now work closely with the county government.
During the election held in Kajiado town, Kelvin Kimaru was elected secretary while Peter Kiriongi was picked as treasurer. Peterson Githaiga was appointed coordinator.
The chair expressed confidence with the team and said he will work with every member to ensure the success of the network and their welfare. “This is a formidable team to work with. They are professionals and I expect the best from them,” added the chair.
“Journalists can have a significant influence in the functioning of health systems, which include poly making as they contribute in setting the agenda through highlighting pertinent issues that need improvement,” said Marindany after his election in Kajiado.
He also said through shaping public opinion, which in turn exerts pressure on poly makers to respond, media plays a big role in holding policymakers accountable for the quality of the health system.
“I am also thanking my fellow colleagues who put their trust in my leadership, and promising them too that I will work closely with them in order to achieve our mission,” said Marindany.
He said the network will champion for accurate reporting on health issues in the county as it also strives to work closely with the county government.
“It has been a bit difficult to penetrate the county and access statistics on health issues, but with the support of Amref, I am confident all will be possible,” he said.
The newly elected chairman of journalists’ network appealed to Kajiado leaders to think outside the box and help fight outdated practices such as female genital mutilation.
Don’t Glorify FGM
“Certain traditional practices such as circumcision of girls have been known to retard education advancement of our young daughters, and this is the reason the county leadership should also support the ending of FGM,” said Marindany.
We should not glorify the circumcision of young girls at the expense of their education. Let them grow up to adulthood so they can make own decision whether to be cut or no, added Marindany.
He said while other counties are priding over their daughters, some people and groups are busy painting black the future of their girls and condemning them to early child marriage.
“When girls as young as 12 to 13 years are married off, their bodily growth will also be retarded the moment they start giving birth to children,” said Marindany.
Marindany, who is Editor-in-Chief at Kajiado County News, appealed to young men to help fight FGM by refusing to marry circumcised girls.
He said Kajiado is a resourceful county with friendly people with other beautiful strong traditions that the media have not highlighted positively.
“We are expecting our young journalists to build their professional backgrounds and experience by venturing into unexploited areas such as ecotourism, traditional medicines, and even write more on the on-going human/wildlife conflicts that have left many families devastated,” Marindany concluded.