Stakeholders, Media Unite To Combat Diphtheria Outbreak In Nigeria

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The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the Nigeria Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) have convened a media orientation session to address the nation’s response to the diphtheria outbreak.

The one-day session, held at the weekend in Abuja, was backed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and attracted journalists and communication experts from various regions of the country.

The primary goal of the orientation was to enhance the media’s understanding of diphtheria, clarify their roles and responsibilities and identify key areas where they can support the ongoing outbreak response across the nation.

In his opening remarks, the executive director of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib expressed his appreciation for the unwavering support and dedication of both national and state media outlets in promoting health initiatives, particularly the current diphtheria outbreak response in their respective regions.

Representing Shuaib, the NPHCDA’s acting director of advocacy and communication, Mrs. Aisha Tukur emphasised the Federal Government’s recognition of the indispensable role of the media in building the nation.

She highlighted the government’s reliance on the media to raise awareness and educate Nigerians about Diphtheria and other essential primary health care services in the country.

Tukur also praised NCDC and development partners for their collaborative role in co-facilitating the media orientation meeting with NPHCDA, expressing her hope that this partnership would persist beyond the Diphtheria Outbreak Response.

In her goodwill message, head of social and behavioral change communication at UNICEF, Margaret Soyemi extended her commendation for the efforts of NPHCDA and NCDC in orchestrating the workshop.

Soyemi conveyed her gratitude to media stakeholders for their ongoing support and dedication to spreading awareness and educating the public about health initiatives, especially regarding diphtheria, at both national and subnational levels.

It’s worth noting that the participants included representatives from NPHCDA, NCDC, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), the Federal Ministry of Information (FMol), the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Additionally, the workshop saw participation from representatives of national and state media outlets, both broadcast and print, hailing from the seven priority states – Bauchi, Borno, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa and Yobe. Development partners, including UNICEF, BA-N, Red Cross, WHO, ICAP and others, were also actively engaged in the discussions.

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