By; TINA PHINEAS, Yola
The media has been tasked to play a pivotal role in enlightening and sensitizing the public on what to do ahead of health emergencies.
The Adamawa State Commissioner of Health, Dr Fatima Atiku, gave the call Tuesday, while declaring a two-day training workshop for the media, on health reporting during emergencies open in Yola, organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
According the her, the media as key partner on enlightenment needs to be proactive in educating the public on the effective role of hygiene and sanitation in checking outbreaks and spread of epidemics.
“You need to focus more on preventing seasonal emergencies as prevention is the key”, the commissioner stated.
In his welcome address, the WHO Coordinator in Adamawa, Dr Iyobosa Igbinovia, said the training of journalists in North East region on effective public health reporting during emergencies is geared sending out the right message.
“We want the right message about health emergencies and response to send out, we want to ensure that activities are well communicated to the public”, he stated.
He therefore, urged participants to make use of the training to sharpen their skills, address all grey areas so that the public can be saved.
Also speaking, the WHO Health Emergencies Communication Officer in North East, Dr Chima Onuekwe, said the training which has been an annual event is to review how we are coping with public health emergencies and to resharpen our skills.
“ We are here to review how far we have gone in achieving our set goals in public health reporting, how we are covering health emergencies in the North East from public health perspective”
“We are here to look at what the people need to know to protect themselves from public health emergencies, and to also look at the way out”, Onuekwe said.
New Nigerian reports that expert resource persons were on ground to sharpen the skills of participating media practitioners, notably among them were Dr. Onjefu Okidu from Ajayi Crowther University, Moji Makanjuola, Dr. Abdullahi Bashir MAUTECH and a host of others.
Participants for the workshop were drawn from North East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.