By Catherine Philip Jelani
With regards to the heroic role displayed by the Social Media Influencers and the Media outlet during the era of COVID 19 in 2020 to ensure that the people are enlightened, protected and lives preserved, the Adamawa State Government in collaboration with the World Health Organization WHO organised a three day Workshop for Media Personality on Health and Behavioural change Reporting here at the state capital, Yola.
In his opening remark, the Emergency State Coordinator, Dr. Aheme Terseer encouraged the participants to pay attention to the very simple things that the public needs to know such as personal, environmental and community hygiene which is key as far as hygiene is concern. He explained how the epidemic prone diseases can be prevented rather than waiting until there is an outbreak, adding that when these epidemic prone diseases are handled well by the Journalist and social media influencers through the awareness and sensitisations, then we will never arrive at any outbreak.
On the other hand, the representative of the State Ministry of Health, Mr Laori who is the Director, Public Health Department addressed the Journalist on behalf of the State Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Health. She welcomed them and encouraged them to take advantage of the workshop in other to get the best out of it is.
The objectives of the training as stated by Kingsley Igwebuike WHO are; to improve skills beyond mere informative reporting to health behaviour outcome reporting and, to increase the preponderance of lifesaving information on the mass media and social platforms so as to enable at risk population to take informed decision to protect themselves from disease infections.
Participants were drawn from the Television stations ( both public and private), Radio stations ( public and private), Print ( public and private), Online media ( public and private) as well as some social media influenzers.
The highlights of the workshop include several paper presentations for WHO and the University Dons on issues related to epidemics prone diseases ( diphtheria, Lassa fever, yellow fever, monkey pox, measles, meningitis, etc). Others are; Risk Communication, WHO's mandate in Health Emergency, Contemporary Issues in Reporting during Public Health Emergencies, Media/ Social Media Influencers as public Health Workers, Reporting to impact Behaviour, and lots more.
Lastly, Dr. Terseer in a closing remark urged all to make effective use of the knowledge acquired. Similarly, Comrade Ishaku Dedan, the State NUJ chairman commended the efforts of the organisers of the training and solicited for more of trainings as insightful as this.