Connect with us

Health

COVID-19: Why media should also educate people for protection9

Published

on

Spread the love


COVID-19: Why media should also educate people for protection

Media practitioners have been challenged to up the ante in their reportage by also educating the people on how to protect themselves in times of outbreak of diseases as in the case of COVID-19.

World Health Organization (WHO) health Emergency Communications specialist Chima E. Onuekwe spoke yesterday at a one-day sensitization meeting of Media Personnel on COVID-19 behavioral Change and information management in FCT organised by World Health Organization in collaboration with FCT Public Health/COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

Onuekwe in his presentation said journalists inform, create awareness but when it comes to education the media is not doing so well.
“In an outbreak situation people become tensed, what do they need, they need words of encouragement, they need some one who will tell them it is not the end of the world even if they test positive but what do we see, man bites dog. That is what we get and it becomes bold headline.”
He said the media should specialise in confidence building, “we need to build peoples confidence because in a situation where we have a weak health system and we have an outbreak like this people can easily lose confidence in Government and in the health system so what do we need to do?
“We need to build confidence from the way we write, from the way we report.
“So we need to ask, what is it that the public want which the media does not offer?
“We do not offer this education, motivation, confidence building, these are what we do not offer and they are what the public want desperately in any emergency.”
“We did a small survey in an IDP camp in Borno State and we just asked a simple question, it was during a cholera outbreak and we asked them if they were aware of cholera outbreak in Borno State?
“76% was aware, 15% said they did not hear about it and 9% said they were not aware at all.
“We Asked them if they were aware in Muna IDP camp, what would they do?
40% said they would want information on how to protect themselves, and that is the education, that is usually what the public want.
“20% wanted to know what international organizations are doing, 15% wanted to know the names of places and what the government is doing to stop it.
10% wanted to know the number of people affected.”
He said the media most of the times are concerned about how many people have been affected because for them the figures help them to make headlines.
“1000 people down with cholera, 10,000 affected by COVID-19, for us that is the news but for the public that is the least of what they want.”
According to him, So many other researches that have been done corroborated and proved it.
He said from observations, in Borno, during the Ebola outbreak a person was asked, to what extent were newspaper publications were educative in giving protective tips to improve knowledge of Nigerians to adopt Ebola Preventive measures, only 9.8% were educative compared to 61% that were merely informational.
“The story concluded that the media did too little to educate the public and empower them for necessary skills. This was done in Nigeria.
He said Other observation in other parts of the world also followed the same trend
“Instead of focusing on the medical literature and facts related to Ebola many of our colleagues found the hysteria and fear,
“It was an opportunity to educate inform and reassure which was to a great extent missed. I am bringing this up so that we don’t have a repeat experience at the end of COVID-19.
“It happened during cholera outbreak in Borno State. It would be too bad if we allow it to happen at the end of COVID-19, remember researchers are working now in all fields, people are doing a lot of media researches and in the next few months we would be seeing a lot of these.”
He said the media ended up all the time providing the information but without guiding people on how to protect themselves.
“It is our job to provide that information that will enable people get information that will protect them.
He said the media are partners in Public health which is defined as the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases
Another presenter Moji Makonjuola said the media has a lot of work to do especially as the fear of COVID-19 is the beginning of wisdom.
She said some talk about the fact that the vaccine kills.
She said the media should do specialised human angle story by asking people around whether they have tested? “Supposed you test positive, what would you do? What are you doing to ensure that you remain negative?
“Go to the market, those are where we can find them. When you talk to a market woman who believes, she says wear masks this thing dey ground, that is a good sound bite.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Health

At last resident doctors bow to pressure, suspend nationwide strike

Published

on

By

Spread the love

At last resident doctors bow to pressure, suspend nationwide strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors, (NARD) on Saturday suspended its 10 days old strike after sustained pressure mounted on them to shelve the strike by stakeholders.
The National President of the Association, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi said the strike was suspended after series of long hours of meetings with various stakeholders in the health sector.
He said based on their responsibility to Nigerians and the fact that the Federal government has met some of their demands they have no option but to call off the strike.

Continue Reading

Health

Resident Doctors would account for the blood of any patient that dies on account of their ongoing strike action, says senate

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Resident Doctors would account for the blood of any patient that dies on account of their ongoing strike action, says senate

The Senate committee on health has faulted the strike action embarked upon by the resident Doctors which is having a telling effect on patients.

The chairman of the committee Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe said Nigerians would hold the resident doctors responsible for the blood of any patient that dies on account of their ongoing strike action.

Oloriegbe spoke at the public hearing  of the bill entitled  “Federal Medical Centre, Mubi, Adamawa State (Establishment) Bill, 2021” sponsored by Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (Binani) 

According to him, the National Assembly made every effort to avert the doctors ongoing strike to no avail. 

“We had a marathon meeting just before Easter on March 21st specifically and we agreed on all the issues that were raised by the resident doctors.

He said there three Germain issues which included the payment of salary to house officers which as at that time they also agreed had been essentially been cleared which was the major reason they wanted to go on strike.

“The second one was what they claimed to be payment to local resident doctors, which was an aberration where there was not supposed to be local but the government agreed to commence payment which has started to be done.

“Those are the two critical ones that were germane most of the other issues that were raised were not even issues within the purview of the federal government because they were issues of state governments that owed salaries or something. 

He said they are issues that relate to things that were in 2014, 2015 which was as at that meeting, the Federal Ministry of Finance confirmed that a committee has been set up to look at the other aspects. 

“So we are surprised that the resident doctors went on strike. However, we are not reneging, my counterparts in the house of Representatives are meeting with the resident doctors.”

Continue Reading

Health

World Health Day: Govt decries shortage of vaccines as communities groan over neglect n Nasarawa

Published

on

By

Spread the love

World Health Day: Govt decries shortage of vaccines as communities groan over neglect n Nasarawa

Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

The Nassarawa State Government has raised the alarm over shortages of essential supplies of COVID-19 vaccines for its citizens who are yet to access the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination particularly the vulnerable persons in the state.

This state commissioner of health, Pharmacist Ahmed Baba-Yahaya made the disclosure during the World Health Day in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital on Wednesday.

According to him, “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the light on the inequalities among the citizens amidst shortages of essential supplies, poor people have been pushed to the back of the queue in accessing COVID-19 test kits in the state.”

He continued: “There are several shades of inequalities, discrimination based on gender, place of residence, income, educational level, age, ethnicity and disability to disadvantage of the vulnerable populations across the state.”

He, however, emphasized that there was need to start to act on the social and economic determinations of the people, by working across sectors to improve living and working conditions, particularly the marginalized groups.

While reacting on the challenges being faced by the vulnerable persons in the state, he urged leaders at various levels to work together to address inequalities in their respective countries, specially on COVID-19 vaccines.

The commissioner of health also admonished pharmaceutical companies to expand their manufacturing capacity to overcome current supply shortages in the state, urging wealthy individuals to partner with the state government so that the most at risk populations in all countries could be protected.

Also residents in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital, Awe, Keana and Obi local government areas and others in the state have expressed worry over lack of access to COVID-19 test in their locality.

Narrating his ordeal, Mr. John Daniel, said they could not access the COVID-19 test in their community, owning to the fact that the health workers trained by the Primary Development Agency in charge of administering COVID-19 tests are focussing on tge rich in the state.

He said: “We are poor people. We have been relegatedto the background because we are not government workers.”

Also speaking to our correspondent, Ovey Timothy, said since the state government commenced the COVID-19 test the health workers have not be able to reach their community.

His words: “We are calling on the state government to urgently intervene and come to their rescue.”

Continue Reading

Trending