(Participants at a 3-day capacity building training for health Editors and Senior reporters organized by CS-SUNN during inspection tour to some of OTP and CMAN facilities in Zaria on Tuesday 09/05/2017)
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Worried by the high rate of acute malnutrition and the need for massive awareness campaign about the health of Nigerian children and mothers, a non-governmental organization known as Civil – Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has completed a 3-day capacity building for 30 selected health editors and senior reporters.
The beneficiaries, who were drawn from Kaduna, Nassarawa, Niger States and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja had converged in Kaduna, Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria and visited Out-Patient Therapeutic Programme (OTP) situated inside Makama Abbas Primary Health Centre (PHC), Fatika, Zaria-City, Zaria local government area of Kaduna State to see things for themselves with a view to deeply understanding health and nutrition challenges and funding gaps and possibly draw sympathy for malnourished children in Kaduna and Nigeria on a larger scale.
Apart from that, they were thoroughly exposed to issues surrounding nutrition and the need to draw the attention of policy makers as well as sensitising the general public on how to eat the right food the body required for physical growth and Intelligent Quogent in children especially within their first two years beginninh right from conception.
Briefing the participants on why CS-SUNN-PACFaH embarked on the project, Coordinator, Sunday Okoronkwo said, the issue of malnutrition in Nigeria has been there for quite a long time but not receiving required attention until recent times when the shocking revelation about its consequences was made public.
According to him, Nigeria been the worse hit country in Africa and the world attracted the international donour before the Nigerian government saw it as issue that should be given a top priority even though many states government don’t earmark specific budget line for malnutrition while where it was considered, only a fraction will be released eventually.
He however tasked the media to be up and doing so that the issues could be jointly addressed because it is surmountable.
Earlier in her presentation titled “Media and Effective Coverage of Health and Nutrition in Nigeria”, Media Officer, CS-SUNN, Lilian Ajah-mong tasked the participants on 21st century reporting mechanism, urging them to use every available means to dish out factual and timely health related information to the general public to address the issues of ignorance among the locals.
A participant, Femi Oyelola of Peoole’s Daily Newspaper said, though he was conversant with health issues including malnutrition but the training has exposed him to other parts which he did not hitherto pay attention to.
“Though I’m aware and have been reporting health related issues before now but then, there is fresh angle I’m seeing here especially the disturbing situation of malnourished children we saw in Zaria.
“I know CS-SUNN has did their homework before bringing in the media and I’m sure participants here have one new thing or the other which will help us to package our reports together in such a way that concern authority and spirited individuals can extend help to these category of members of our society especially the children”, said.