By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna State Council, Comrade Adamu Yusuf has called on all media organizations to accord priority to health beats reporters by creating special desk and also encouraged them to cover grassroots where most health issue are critical.
He made the call during his goodwill message at the 2017 MediaAfrica Conference with the theme: “MNCH in Nigeria: Progress, Opportunities and Challenges: Role of the Media in Curbing Maternal Death, organized by the African Media Development Foundation (AMDF) held in Kaduna, North-West, Nigeria on Tuesday.
Comrade Yusuf explained that the media is always committed towards advocating and reducing maternal deaths by enlightening and informing stakeholders including policymakers and the general public on their roles in promoting health care delivering.
The Council Chairman affirmed that it is the social responsibility of the media to inform the government at all levels particularly on the bad conditions of the primary health clinics in all the wards in Kaduna State, hence the need for journalists to contribute generally in the health sector for development of our country.
He commended the AMDF for setting the pace for organizing the important conference and assured that Union will continue to partners with and any other non-governmental organizations in their strive to ensure affective and efficient health care services in the state and Nigeria.
“I am calling on all media organizations to accord priority to health beats reporters and by creating special desk and also encourage them to cover grassroots where most health issue are critical” he said.
Contributing, the State Co-ordinator, Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Imitative (NURHI), Kaduna State Mallam Kabir Abdullahi lamented that the evidence has showed that 30 to 35% of maternal deaths can be reduce simply be child spacing.
To do this, he said, there is need for all stakeholders to support the state government to ensure the campaign for child spacing reach all concerns of the country which helps to ensure that no woman dies as a result of pregnancy complications.
Mallam Kabir described the media are the ones that are able to create the necessary pressure and instrument in term of re-energize the system and also bring to fore issues that need the attention of the public.
“Our engagement with the media was at the policy level, institutional level and programmatic level. We could not achieve what we achieve today in Nigeria without the media and right from the onset; we recognized the power media have.
“So at institutional level, we need to highlight what the governments are doing and also put the necessary pressure to ensure it delivers at its promises, it is also to check and balances to ensure that the systems are functioning the way it supposed to be functional.
“At community level, we are educating, informing and ensuring that the people know the benefit of contraceptives and also clarify all the myth and misconceptions around the issues.
“This fore creating an opportunity for deep rooted engagement and to ensure that whoever is going to work with the media has to be intentional right from the onset because if you don’t have funding embarked for media, your engagement can only be superstitions” he added.