The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, and other experts will on Friday converge on Nasarawa State to take stock of the coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country by Nigerian media organisations.
Ehanire will speak alongside other experts at a two-day workshop organised by the Association of Nigerian Health Journalists, with the theme: “COVID-19 Reportage Assessment Meeting.”
The workshop aims to appraise efforts of the Nigerian media, especially health reporters, in their reportage of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement by Hassan Zugi, the ANHEJ President.
Zugi stated that the Minister would deliver the keynote address, titled: “X-raying Media Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic: Federal Ministry of Health’s Perspective,”
alongside other resource persons from the health sector and international organisations.
He noted that Nigerian health reporters, caught between the right to safety, passion, fear, emotions and obligations to employers constantly demanding news content, continued
to show resilience in upholding the tenets of the profession.
He explained that health reporters constantly educated and informed the masses of the disease, monitored global COVID-19 infections and recoveries, vaccines production, and the need to adhere strictly to laid down guidelines to contain the spread of the virus.
The workshop would, therefore, assess the sudden emergence of the coronavirus disease and how media professionals stayed afloat by providing relevant information to the public.
It would also assess media professionals positions as opinion leaders to shape behavioural change patterns, ensure safety from the virus, demand accountability from government, and guarantee that COVID-19 pandemic did not override other life-threatening health issues as well as for citizens to have access to adequate healthcare services.
He regretted that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted activities in all sectors globally as leaders, governments and captains of industries continued to grapple with strategies to limit the impacts of the disease.
While the number of reported cases in Nigeria is showing a downward trend, there have been projections of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is already forcing some developed countries, especially in Europe and the US, to reintroduce lockdowns and other stringent measures for containment.