Project HOPE - Kazakhstan hosted an international media training tour "Media Coverage of Issues on TB among Labor Migrants" this past March in Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan.
Goals included improved media coverage of issues related to diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) among labor migrants and regional cooperation on cross-border TB control in the countries of Central Asia. Journalists were also informed about the project "Addressing Cross-border Control and Treatment of TB, MDR-TB and TB/HIV among Labor Migrants" implemented by Project HOPE - Kazakhstan with the support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
A total of 21 journalists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan media representing print and online media, television, radio and press services participated in the media training tour.
Attendees toured the National Research Center for TB and Pulmonology of the Republic of Kazakhstan, where they became acquainted with the center’s achievements and innovations, particularly with the TB and TB/HIV epidemiological situation. Panagul Dzhazybekova, the Head of the Center’s Department of Pulmonology, Organization, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, spoke about TB, its transmission, detection, treatment and prevention methods.
To learn more about the organization’s work with labor migrants, the journalists visited inter-district TB hospital in Almaty, where they received detailed information from the Chief Physician Zhanar Sapiev. They also met with and interviewed migrants receiving treatment for TB.
“I got a lot of useful information that will be used in several materials,” said Katerina Andriyanova, a journalist in Kyrgyzstan. “The theme of labor migration and TB is very relevant and in demand. The organizers of the international media training tour managed to combine several activities, involve leading experts, and most importantly, we were able to meet personally with fellow countrymen and get first-hand information.”
The media training tour was planned to occur close to World TB Day (March 24) – when other cities in Kazakhstan were also hosting events. Participants attended another event organized by the Zabota Crisis Center at Bolashak, the biggest market of Almaty. Ulzhan Lukpanova, the Director of the "Zabota" Crisis Center, responded in detail to all journalists’ questions.
The journalists also visited patient-friendly polyclinic # 25 of Alatau district, Almaty, to observe the clinic’s open-door day for labor migrants. This event offered TB screening and professional consultation, a concert, and a flash mob of volunteers to draw attention to TB issues. Alia Mazbaeva, Chief Physician of the polyclinic, familiarized the journalists with “Safe Route” - an interactive training approach on TB for labor migrants, especially popular and effective there.
The journalists met with Project HOPE - Kazakhstan’s team and Bakhtiyar Babamuradov, the head of the cross-country working group, where they received information about the cross-country working groups’ activities and the preparation of bilateral agreements on cross-border TB control in the countries of Central Asia.
A productive meeting with Svetlana Zhasymbekova, the National Leader of IOM programs in Kazakhstan, informed journalists about the latest research and trends in migration flows in Central Asia.
Topics of the training included stigma and discrimination against labor migrants, the use of proper vocabulary and personal stories, and up-to-date media approaches to the coverage of relevant topics. Throughout the tour, journalists wrote and shot materials that were discussed and analyzed at the end of the training. Attendees expressed an interest in conducting similar international media training tours in other Central Asian countries.
“I have long dreamed of participating in such an event,” said Ahliddin Salimov, a journalist in Tajikistan. “I enjoyed it very much. Productive peer exchange, a lot of information, site visits and meetings with experts and labor migrants, professional disputes. I'm going home full of ideas for future materials. Many thanks to Project HOPE - Kazakhstan for the useful information, enhanced professional skills and the opportunity to serve the public good!”
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