HIV/AIDS in the Documentaries by Young African TV Producers
12 young television producers from Francophone Africa met on 22-27 November 2005 in Bordeaux, France to edit and finalize their short TV documentaries depicting views and opinion about HIV and AIDS from their respective countries of origin.
The programmes make up part of a collection to be shared globally with TV broadcasters as the first international distribution of productions initiated through the Global Network of Young TV Producers on HIV and AIDS workshop series.
Since the beginning of the year, journalists, TV producers, and community radio producers have been actively working with UNESCO to improve their own understanding of the science of HIV and AIDS; to increase their capacity to report issues; to influence a curb on stigma and discrimination; and to utilize new information technologies as effective research tools. The following quotations are a few that have been extracted from individual workshops that took place in Africa.
"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 . . . modern medicine is now able to help an infected person live normally and longer", says Dr Richard Amenyah, Senior Clinical Officer of Family Health International.
"AIDS is a regular subject of our health chronicles and of public awareness campaigns . . . we have devoted a weekly schedule on health issues but we've been carrying out AIDS awareness raising for the past 4 years . . . we are committed [in the fight against AIDS] as [AIDS] prevails dramatically in the city . . .", says Bonkano Bawa, Community Radio Fara (on the Nigeria, Benin and Niger border, in the rural town, Gaya) .
"Education plays a very important role in the prevention of HIV transmission. There's a very tight link between the two. Through our TV productions we hope to make the diverse issues known to the public of our different countries", declares Moussa Amadou Ba, TV Producer, Mali.
"We badly encounter difficulties . . . human resources are not always available to put together stories and people living with HIV seldom agree to speak . . . neither will associations finance programs", says a representative of Fanta, Community Radio, Senegal.
"It is important for the manager of any community radio station to distinguish between the myths surrounding HIV and AIDS, and the factual, science based information that will hold governments and communities accountable for their actions. Based on credible information, community media can educate the public about prevention, offer methods for coping with the disease, and discredit stereotypes surrounding HIV and AIDS", says Bernard Hadjaj, Director, UNESCO Yaoundé.
Ana Nicodemus, TV Producer, Namibia: "It is of imperative importance for the African media to . . . use this [television] to change even what is considered impossible more importantly in the instance of stigma and discrimination against people living with 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," says Kofi Middleton-Mends, Deputy Director of the National Film and TV Training Institute, Ghana.
"I'm prepared to take on the challenge of reducing stigma and discrimination!", says a TV producer from Gambia.