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On April 21st and 22nd, the Manhiça Health Research Centre held a training on the dissemination of information on the CHAMPS program and other health issues, which identifies actions to maximize the interaction between the different actors that contribute to the social and behavioral change in communities.

This training aimed to train health institution leaders on how to deal with the press, in order to help reduce the risk of misinformation and ensure effective communication. The target group of this training was made up of chief doctors, clinics directors and spokespersons from different health institutions in the districts of Quelimane, Mopeia and Mocuba in Zabézia Province, totaling 18 participants. The team of trainers was led by Arsenio Manhice and Simão Tomo included Ignácio Smilla, Arlindo Mustafa and Jocas Achar as facilitators. The opening and closing sessions were led by the representative of the Director of Provincial Health Services (DPS), Dr Arcangelo Amussala, by the representative of the Provincial Directorate of Health (PDS), Dr Aníbal Fernando, and by the Principal Investigator of the CHAMPS project, Dr Inácio Mandomando.

During training, representatives of DPS and PDS recognized its importance, as it can contribute to reducing the risk of misinformation, thus avoiding riots, because, as soon as health professionals are trained, they will know how to deal with the press, so that they can transmit timely and useful information to the community, in a clear and objective manner. On the other hand, Dr Amussala, underlined that “we are here so that we are able to transmit information that can influence communities, their leaders and other Stakeholders, including health professionals, in socio-behavioral change”. Furthermore, the Principal Investigator of the project stressed that one of the main objectives of the training was to contribute to the dissemination of reliable information on health, specifically on infant mortality. “We encouraged the Zambezi media to transmit information gathered form appropriate and reliable sources, to ensure that this information is relevant and that it contributes to reducing the risk of misinformation” - said Dr Inácio.

It should be noted that this activity is related to one of the project’s objectives on real-time data sharing for the decision-making, where it was verified the need to maximize the collaboration of all stakeholders in the community in the community engagement strategy, including the bodies media and health professionals. It was also in this context, that form August 31 to September 4, 2020, a training course was held for journalists based in the district of Quelimane, with the purpose of establishing a lasting relationship between the CHAMPS program, health institutions and with the organs of media at the level of the district of Quelimane.

There were times of formation, communication and forms of oratory; how to build good press relations; relationship of the interlocutor with the press; findings and challenges for improving media interview; social networks; strategies for communication in health; aspects to take into account with classified information; and, how to improve the relationship between journalists and health professionals. It should be noted that the activity was characterized by practical classes, where participants were able to simulate interviews and other group activities.

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