Child Survival: UNICEF Suggests the Use of “Facts for Life Document” for Media Advocacy

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By; Alex Uangbaoje, Sokoto.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), has suggested that the best way to design programmes and media messages met for the purposes of  advocating for the needs of children and women, is to adopt a comprehensive document put together by it for programme intervention support for women and children.

Delivering a paper titled “Media Engagement on Facts for Life Dissemination”, at a workshop for ‘Media Executives, Director Programme and Producers on Facts for Life Dissemination” in Sokoto, on Tuesday, Rabiu Musa, Media and External Relations Officer, UNICEF Kaduna Field office, explained that the document will make the work of the media very easy if they adopt it wholly.

Rabiu, emphasised that, “the document has the entire UNICEF programme intervention support areas that helps easier promotion of the rights of children and women. Designed to help scale up evidence based high impact interventions for improved health seeking behaviour and effective home management of common childhood illnesses. Contains key essential information that families and communities need to know to prevent diseases, injuries, violence and even death of mothers and raise healthy children.

“Provides practical advice on pregnancy, childbirth, childhood illnesses, child development and care for children and a good guide for effective behaviour change. Relevant to parents, families, health workers, teachers, youth groups, wamen’s group, community organisations, government officials, employers, trade unions, media, NGOs and faith-based organisations and even the children themselves to appreciate their rights to life, survival and development.”

He stressed that,  details in the document has the fastest, widest reach and coverage. Serves as the lead advocate voice of the people especially the voiceless, excluded and underserved, is key in shaping our society and very good agent for awareness and demand creation Facts for Life content suitable for media to provide social services for human development Efforts to leverage airtime and space as part of the partnership for children.

On the role of the media in supporting children, the Media officer,  said, “the remains a major partner in community and social mobilisation as well as information dissemination of child survival and other UNICEF support programmes Partnership with the media over the years has been instrumental to substantial savings through free or subsidized  airtime for a number of media platforms across the country Currently there are existing relationships in many of the HR and non HR states for free programme participation Promoting Facts for Life will further enhance sustainable programming in UNICEF support areas and programmes

“Journalists are champions of human rights They act as the eyes, ears and voices of the public, drawing attention to children’s rights  News can generate noise and expose the plight of children News can generate light and understanding, and raise public awareness of children’s rights News can encourage governments and civil society organisations to effect changes that will improve the quality of children’s lives.

“Media can influence cultural norms, perceptions, and behaviors Media report has an impact on society’s attitude to children and childhood Journalists have the responsibility to recognise children’s rights and reflect them in their work.”

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