Africa CDC ends refresher forum for health journalists

Africa CDC ends refresher forum for health journalists

By Sulayman Waan

The Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on August 25, 2023, concluded a three-day intensive refresher forum for health reporters and community journalists across Africa.

The three-day event was designed to expose journalists to the Africa New Public Health Order and the Agenda 2063 pillar three which talks about healthier and safer Africa.

It brought together 16 participants from 12 African countries across the Western, Southern, Eastern, and Central African regions. It was facilitated by three officials along with others from the Africa CDC of the Nigeria Centre for Disease and partners.×280&×507%2C0x0&nras=2&correlator=1855864392054&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=702569592.1684305231&ga_sid=1693416970&ga_hid=1254567833&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=3&u_h=768&u_w=1366&u_ah=738&u_aw=1366&u_cd=24&u_sd=1&dmc=2&adx=278&ady=1836&biw=1291&bih=614&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=44759837%2C44759876%2C44759927%2C31076839%2C31077371&oid=2&pvsid=1934425568493509&tmod=986443738&uas=0&nvt=1&!4&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=O44XVcUmWr&p=https%3A// At the forum, Modou Njai, on behalf of his boss,  Dr Herilinda Tamba, Africa CDC Western Region Coordinator, disclosed that the initiative by the Africa CDC is intended to enhance the capacity of health reporters in the discharge of their reportorial duties across the continent.

The workshop, he added, was aimed at improving the existing relationship between the African CDC and the media amid the declaration by the World Health Organization that the Coronavirus disease is no longer a health emergency in the world. 

Njai called on the participants to use the training as a conduit for the integration of Coronavirus messages into routine immunization messages for the benefit of the African continent and the world at large.

For his part, Dr Yahya Disu, Representative of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, who is also a facilitator at the event,described the event as being interactive, experience sharing, and also a learning curve for attendees which, according to him, will subsequently impact the scope of work for all.×280&×507%2C0x0%2C735x280&nras=3&correlator=1855864392054&frm=20&pv=1&ga_vid=702569592.1684305231&ga_sid=1693416970&ga_hid=1254567833&ga_fc=1&u_tz=0&u_his=3&u_h=768&u_w=1366&u_ah=738&u_aw=1366&u_cd=24&u_sd=1&dmc=2&adx=278&ady=2188&biw=1291&bih=614&scr_x=0&scr_y=0&eid=44759837%2C44759876%2C44759927%2C31076839%2C31077371&oid=2&pvsid=1934425568493509&tmod=986443738&uas=0&nvt=1&!5&btvi=2&fsb=1&xpc=ZPq6ZCYkA2&p=https%3A// Dr Disu highlighted the importance of implementing the “New Africa Public Health Order,” citing that the adherence of African Heads of State will ensure that the objectives of the document are achieved. 

He lauded the commitment of health reporters across the continent as key to the realization of the five pillars of the Africa Health Document.

However, he called on the media community across the continent to sustain their role in ensuring accountability and transparency in the health sector of Africa.

Also, the Communication Officer of the Africa CDC, Mr Nekerwon Gweh, emphasised that the Refresher Workshop is intended to increase visibility and understanding of the Africa CDC and its mandate among the media.

 Mr Gweh, who also served as one of the facilitators, added that the media initiative by the organization was geared towards bringing the Africa CDC closer to the African population through awareness about its work in safeguarding Africa health, using a regional approach.

He equally called on health reporters and community journalists to integrate the lessons learned and the experiences gathered during the fight against the coronavirus disease to do routine immunization campaigns across the continent. 

For her part, Madame Vera Okey urged participants to use the knowledge gained to elevate the health challenges the general public is faced with on the African continent as a means of finding an amicable solution to those problems. 

Madam Okey, who is also a facilitator at the event, encouraged health reporters to consider the interest of the general public in the discharge of their duties for the betterment of the health sectors of their respective countries. 

Yusuf Suma, a journalist and participant from Sierra Leone, expresed delight that the training had provided health reporters and community journalists the understanding of managing information during an outbreak which includes addressing misinformation and disinformation.


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