DevComs and NURHI take Family Planning Advocacy to the Media
No fewer than 23 media houses in Zaria, Ibadan, Kaduna, Ilorin, Abuja and Benin have been visited during the Family Planning Media Advocacy visits embarked upon recently by Development Communications Network (DevComs) and Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI).
The visits were aimed at strengthening partnership with the media in order to give more attention to issues relating to family planning and using the media as a medium to deepen and increase public understanding of family planning services and commodities.
The high rate of Maternal Mortality in Nigeria was traced to low use of family planning services and commodities. According to Mr. Tunji Samuel, BCC Officer of NURHI, Ibadan, it is essential to avoid births that are too close and too many for the benefit of the family.
The visiting teams were warmly received by all the media houses and their management commended NURHI’s activities in Nigeria. They recognize family planning as a national issue of public health importance and agreed it be given more prominence in the media.
The 23 media organizations gave their words to support family planning in Nigeria by giving more projections to Family Planning issues through their platforms, as a social responsibility.
They also charged the advocacy teams to take cognizance of the media sphere and limitations in Nigeria by assisting with capacity building of staff and provide materials they can adapt for their programmes.
In addition, they encouraged NURHI to patronize their organizations by bringing in jingles and other paid programmes for the relationship to be mutual.
Amongst the media houses visited are: Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Ibadan, NTA Ibadan, Tribune Newspapers, Splash FM, FRCN Benin, Silverbird Communication Benin, DAAR Communications Benin, Queen FM Zaria, NTA Zaria, Kaduna State Media Corporation, Alheri Radio/DITV Kaduna, News Agency of Nigeria Kaduna, Daily Trust Kaduna, Daily Trust Abuja, NTA Channel 5 Abuja, FRCN Abuja, Punch Abuja, and Wazobia/Cool/Nigeria Info, Abuja.
Furthermore, a two-day training workshop on family planning was conducted for media executives and reporters in all the sites after the advocacy visits.
written by: Ayodele Adesanmi and Biodun Owo