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Advocate Women issues at all times – CCSI urges media

In order to upgrade issues on women’s health, advocate and amplify them as they affect women and adolescents of child bearing age, the Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI) in conjunction with Pathfinder International has trained journalists on the need to always put women matters on the front burner.

Another reason for the training was to advocate women’s health in the area of high maternal mortality, family Planning, limited, antenatal care and access to healthcare.

Addressing the issues, a Senior Programme Advisor, Pathfinder International, Dr Sakina Bello, said, since advocacy is one of the ways to right the wrongs, there is the need to target of the one- year project on women in Lagos and Kano states for a better maternal and newborn health policy as well as funding, for healthier women.

According to her, “ Advocacy works wonders and as it is a critical part for this project, our media partners are here to really know what we are planning, and identify the key role in reporting women’s related health issues, including cancer and HPV “.

Dr Sekina expressed the hope that, the media partners would help amplify the gaps in the sector, challenges experienced by health workers, Ignorance, lack of awareness of government policies and problems, myths and misconception, state of PHCs and as well as the JAPA syndrome.

Highlighting Government efforts at promoting the health of Women, the Director and Reproductive Health Coordinator, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Doctor Victoria Omoera, noted, “ that government has established departments and institutionalized programmes that speaks directly to women’s health “.

Dr Omoera, noted that, the need to invest in women and their healthcare is a fundamental human rights, hence the need to ensure better access to women’s health services and research becomes imperative.

“ This will curb significantly, issues of funding gaps, inadequate demand creation activities, financial inaccessibility to health services, insufficient funding, religion, culture that relegate women to the background and high attrition of trained health officers “. She said

According to Dr Omoera, some laws and policies have been put in place in the state to protect the health of women, citing them as the “Lagos health scheme self policy, safe mother-hood strategies, blood transfusion, health financing policy and mental health”.

Dr Omoera, says, “ we always work with groups and partnerships within our technical working groups, the state does lots of trainings but unfortunately, the rate of health workers leaving the country for greener pastures is so high, expressing dismay that, although, female healthcare providers formed a significant backbone of the health work force, but even with the replacement policy, health workers practiced in Lagos State are overstretched”

Speaking on ‘Editorial Issues in Reporting Women’s Health, the Technical Advisor, Programme, for CCSI, Oluyemi Abodunrin, decried lack of focus on diversity, context and solutions, limited access to accurate and current information, anchoring on sensationalism, stereotypes and ethical considerations.

Juliana Ekong

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