Media essential for public health and harm reduction: Insights from the 3rd Edition of the Harm Reduction Exchange

On October 26, 2023

Nairobi, Kenya –The 3rd Edition of the Harm Reduction Exchange in Nairobi, Kenya, brought to light the significant role of media in public health and harm reduction from October 18–19, 2023, writes Winston Mwale.

Chimwemwe Ngoma, who is affiliated with Knowledge Action Change, delivered a presentation titled “The Media as Promoters of Public Health and Harm Reduction.”

Ngoma’s presentation emphasized the pivotal role of media in disseminating health information, stating that it remains a primary source of health-related knowledge, a fact supported by various scholars.

The profound impact of media on health information dissemination was a central theme, with a focus on its role in shaping health behaviours, rapidly spreading health information, and influencing public policy and health regulations.

Media’s critical role in health promotion was underscored, especially in the context of harm reduction.

The presentation explored how the media has contributed to harm reduction in various areas. Examples included the promotion of safe sex practices, such as condom use and PrEP in the fight against HIV and AIDS, influencing road traffic safety regulations, advocating for environmental conservation, and playing a pivotal role in tobacco control, particularly in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).