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The Media and World Disasters in Pictures

Posted by plosmedicine on 30 Mar 2009 at 23:39 GMT

Author: Edwin Mapara
Position: Medical Doctor/PG student
Institution: None
Additional Authors: None
Submitted Date: January 27, 2005
Published Date: January 27, 2005
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

A disaster is a disaster despite the continent; be it the Holocaust, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Twin Towers or the Tsunami. I must confess and thank the media for how much I have learnt about the Holocaust and the Tsunami in these past few weeks through pictures on television. Kudos!

Lives are lost, shattered, scared, crippled and families are not the same after the disaster. The socio-economic impact is a story by itself.

Material resources, personnel, funds, medicines, counselling services,infrastructure and media attention are all needed. Health education and promotion are needed to address knowledge gaps lest we make grave mistakes like our young Royal did. Pardon the young man. His mistake has been a 'blessing in disguise' for many other young people to learn of the evil that befell mankind in the Holocaust. The young Royal played his part for picturing HIV/AIDS in Lesotho.

There are heroic stories of how people defied the odds, how people risked themselves to save others, how people broke protocol and bureaucratic tape to move in quickly for humanities' sake.

International organisations and normal human beings have begged, pleaded and in some cases had confrontation with the authorities or powers that be to be heard.

In the disasters mentioned above Pictures (Positive media) have played a role in seeking attention, stimulating discussion and response and showing the world that man can work as one family in this global village.

I wonder how many can thank the media for Picturing HIV/AIDS! I have been in the UK for close to two and a half years. How much have I learnt on HIV/AIDS through the same TV channels that have taught me on the Holocaust and the Tsunami?

Does the media have double standards? Or does the continent affected need to buy air-time? Or do we need more prominent visitors to visit Africa for a brief or a 'by the way' on the TV news channels?

While the world waits and plans for Africa, could the Health Promotion authorities address Picturing HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. There are also emotional stories to be told and help needed in all sectors of services.

The negative media, in the UK tabloids, on HIV/AIDS amongst Africans, the Gay community, asylum seekers and drug users leaves me dumb-founded!

No competing interests declared.