BY TINA PHINEAS
Founder, International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH), Moji Makanjoula has described the role of media in public health, as a sensitive and active ingredient for national development.
Makanjoula, stated this at a 2-day workshop organized by World Health Organisation, WHO in Yola, the Adamawa state capital to strengthen the capacity of journalists on health reporting, during emergencies in the North East sub region.
According to her, it is the role of the media to improve the general public awareness of priority diseases and other health problems, promote the health of Nigerians and initiate public discourse on important health issues.
"Key into in depth reporting on public health issues, to unfold silent emergencies, to improving health service delivery", she stated.
The veteran broadcaster urged journalists to provide opportunities for health intervention through their reports and also track budgets on health and hold government accountable.
"What makes you a journalist, is the uncommon stories you write, you must gear up to do things that nobody does"
"You must be passionate about your work to succeed, place a specific health issues, on the national agenda to give voice to the people", Makanjoula advised.
Dr. Chima Onuekwe, WHO Health Emergencies Communication Specialist, told participants not to focus on the outbreak in reporting health emergencies, but rather how to prevent the spread, adding that public health is all about prevention.
While thanking participants, Onuekwe urged them to put what they have learned into practice and make a difference.
In his thank you address on behalf of the participants, Yakubu Uba of the News Agency of Nigeria, appreciated the WHO for the training which will go a long way in boosting journalists skills.