Media practitioners task on CSR, prioritize Maternal Mortality cases

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By; BASHIR BELLO, Kaduna.
In the face of the high number of women dying on daily basis resulting from complications during pregnancy and after delivery, Media practitioners have been tasked on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and to also prioritize cases of maternal death in their reportage in order to reverse the ugly trend.
A Media practitioner and Consultant with Development Communications, (DevComs) Network, Mr. Bolaji Adepegba made the call during a 2-day workshop organized by DevComs and funded by Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, (NURHI) for health reporters on Family Planning which ended over the weekend in Kaduna.
Mr. Adepegba said cases of Maternal, newborn and Child mortality and Family Planning or child spacing are less given priority or reported, instead politics and entertainment were given more priority.
He said the media has the CSR to promote, ensure the story is told widely to influence legislations, disabuse the minds of the people against myths and misconception surrounding family planning and also influence changes in their behaviours.
He charged the media practitioners to help cross the hurdles of culture, infrastructural challenges, low awareness level of the people, widespread media disinterest and also help clear all the misgivings and prejudice against accessing child birth spacing or family planning.
According to him, “the media has CSR to promote, to stimulate contributions to preventing needless suffering and death of women in the country through family planning advocacy.
“Media are in best position to catalyze actions by all of those concerned. The society is impacted in diverse ways by us and look up to us for guidance.
“The role of the media is very critical to the success of family planning initiatives because people depend on the media for information.
“The media has left the level of information dissemination entities to become community rallying points.
“Lack of widespread interest in reporting child birth spacing issues is responsible for low awareness level of the people and in turn makes the people go to quacks.
“So, the need for family planning reporting can not be overemphasized because with the problem at hand, the policy makers need to be educated. It is either the policy makers don’t know about them or they are ignoring it.
“If the media report maternal death (family planning) with the intense it reports politics, talk about President Buhari and Jonathan, it would save lives. Health stories needs more prominence,” Mr. Adepegba said.
Earlier, NURHI State team leader, Malam Kabir Abdullahi described the scenario surrounding the Maternal Mortality as pathetic and one which needs urgent action to turn around the ugly situation.
He said engagement of the media is one of its tools to achieve success while tasking the media to do more in terms of challenging the system which he said has failed and largely responsible for the maternal deaths.
However, a media specialist and member of Family Health Advocates in Nigeria (FHANI), Iliya Kure, called on the governments to make policies and invest appropriately and rightly in the health sector to curtail maternal death.

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