Nigeria’s population continues to increase rapidly with no commensurate development in health care service delivery. With a current estimated population of 186 million and an annual growth rate of about 2.5%, Nigeria’s huge population, fuelled by high birth rate without good family planning, can be a huge burden with resultant poor health indices such as high maternal and infant deaths. Nigeria’s maternal and child deaths is one of the highest in the world.
Development Communications Network, DEVCOMS, and MacArthur Foundation have charged the media to increase the awareness and education of the public on the state of maternal deaths in the country by organizing a sensitization briefing between journalist and civil societies organization, CSOs recently.
Bayo Onanuga, Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria has urged journalists to explore other ways of enlightening Nigerians on the advantages of family planning.
He said this was necessary to address the misconceptions the public had about family planning.
Onanuga gave the advice in Abuja on Thursday when he received members of the Local Organising Committee of the 2016 National Family Planning Conference.
A Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Prof. Terrumun Swende, has tasked media
practitioners on the importance of family planning among the populace.
Prof. Swende, who is also the chairman of Family Planning Advocacy Working Group
Benue State chapter challenged media practitioners to be in the vanguard of
projecting the importance of family planning in the society.
In recognition of the power of the media to project issues in ways that stimulate public discourse and draw the attention of policy and decision makers to issues of importance, Development Communications (DevComs) Network paid visits to Lagos State based media houses to solicit support for increased projection of Reproductive, Maternal Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) issues on their platforms.
To improve accuracy and facilitate effective reportage of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCAH) issues in the media space, DevComs organized a training on RMNCH Advocacy for media professionals in Lagos.
The participants made up of core group of news reporters, producer, editor from print, radio and television were taken through basic terminologies in RMNCH, religious and traditional factors related to RMNCH in Nigeria, Sustainable Development Goals, and a number of policies and laws related with RMNCH in Nigeria.