Tele-health set to boost maternal care, Africa Woman

Date: January 1, 1970
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The Central Health Board of Zambia will be launching tele-health centres to provide care for pregnant women and newborns.

This article may be used to:
  • Illustrate the effective use of data in a news story.
  • Focus on sources of news.

Trainer’s notes

The article looks at the provision of care to pregnant women and newborns. has very high infant mortality rates. This is attributed to the difficulties in providing health care in all parts of the country. The article is balanced and provides contextual information on the problems faced by pregnant women and newborns. The gender dimensions are highlighted by providing the challenges faced by women in regard to health care.
This article uses the tele-health centres as it entry point but proceeds to use relevant data to explain why these centres are important. The data includes:
  • Contextual data-information about infant mortality rates from a credible source-the United Nations; current systems and their problems
  • Data on the use of technology to improve health services
  • The advantages of the new system and how it will be used
There are two sources in the article, an official from the Department of Health and a woman who has experienced the health care system in the past. The official is identified by his profession and where he works while the woman is identified as being “a mother of three”. The GMBS (MISA and Gender Links, 2002) showed that women are much more likely to be identified by their private identity than men, as mothers, wives, daughters, etc.
The story would have been enriched if there were more women sourced on their experiences with the health care system during pregnancy and for newborns. The caption, The patience of a mother, under the image casts women into the role of ‘saintly mothers’. Women have to wait for hours in queues for services and this is not acceptable but the notion that women will endure anything for their children even inadequate services makes seem like victims of circumstance who will not challenge the status quo.
Training exercises
Exercise one: Read the article and:
  1. Identify the information in the article that provides background to the problems faced by pregnant women and newborns and to the current health system.
  2. How does this information enrich the story?
Exercise two: Read the article and:
  1. Do you believe that there are sufficient sources in the story?
  2. Identify other sources you would have interviewed for the story.
  3. Study the caption under the photograph, how does it stereotype women?
  4. Rewrite the caption to fit with the rest of the story.

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