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Africa Report: People in Africa have to die in big numbers before the media covers the issue

Jul 19, 2022

By Neelam Rahim

In discussion with Radio Islam is Thandi Smith, Head of Programmes at Media Monitoring Africa.

Thandi speaks about the misinformation in the Kenyan elections and as far as the candidate’s qualifications are concerned.

According to Thandi, Several weeks ago, there were talks about keeping an eye on the potential rise in the leading of misinformation in any electoral situation. We have seen this play out in the last week or two. Both of the leading running candidates in the election were questioned about their qualifications because false content posted on social media claimed their qualifications were fake. This is critically dangerous in an election situation.

She says this creates doubt in the leaders’ abilities, skills and qualifications. This then makes an error of mistrust within the public, which can impact an election’s outcome.

Polio cases in children in Mozambique raise questions about vaccines and health care.

According to Thandi, this has become a topic of conversation as in this day and age, with the access to the health care that we have, polio cases should rarely be a challenge to deal with as we have the vaccine and know that they work.

Thandi suggests that the media should do more to raise awareness of why these children are not getting the vaccines and hold those in power far more accountable in this situation that really should not be happening.

She says it is a long-standing issue that we are grappling with, but given how we have seen the response to Covid-19, surely we can ramp up effort and answers to other debases and vaccine initiatives.

People in Africa must die in significant numbers before the media covers the issue.

According to Thandi, focus on the Nigeria boat Accident, and SA’s tavern shootings get the same focus when only a handful of people are impacted.

She says the Enyobeni Tavern shooting, where 21 teenagers had died, made immediate international coverage. But the tavern shooting we had last weekend, two people died, did not make news.

Listen to the full Africa Report on Radio Islam’s podcast below.

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