Group advocates for Bi-Monthly Health Media engagements

By Edward Samuel, Abuja

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The Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), has called on the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate to revive the bi-monthly media engagements conducted by the Ministry of Health.

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The Coordinator of AHBN, Dr. Aminu Magashi, stated in Abuja during a courtesy visit by the newly elected executives of the Association of Nigerian Health Journalists (ANHEJ).

“The bi-monthly briefings, initially introduced by the Federal Ministry of Health in partnership with AHBN, serve as a platform for disseminating information on efforts to combat COVID-19, address Lassa Fever, improve routine immunization coverage, and advance reproductive health initiatives, among other critical health matters,” he said.

Dr Magashi emphasized the need to sustain the positive outcomes of these media engagements, where government officials, including ministers, permanent secretaries, heads of departments and agencies in the health sector, and representatives from the private sector, interact with the media to keep the public informed.

According to Dr. Magashi who said AHBN, in accordance with its agreement with the Ministry of Health, has been providing support for these press briefings, stated that engaging the media on a quarterly basis has become productive and very useful to Nigerians, whereby they know what is going on in every aspect of our healthcare system.

“Reviving these press briefings with the involvement of key figures in the health sector would ensure transparency and accountability while keeping the public well-informed,” he added.

The Engagement and Partnership Lead of AHBN, Oyeyemi Pitan, highlighted the collaborative efforts with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), youth groups, and the media in monitoring the implementation of government commitments to women, children, and adolescents’ health and well-being in Nigeria.

Pitan stressed the pivotal role of the media in this collaborative advocacy, acknowledging their importance in conveying advocacy messages to the relevant authorities.

“The role of the media is key and we trust you are with us to ensure our advocacy messages get to the right quarters,” she said.

For it renewed dedication to quality health journalism, the President of ANHEJ Joseph Kadiri expressed the association’s deep appreciation to AHBN for its consistent support to the association.

“We fully support AHBN’s efforts in advocating for the revival of these briefings, the media role in conveying vital health information to the public cannot be overstated,” he said.

Kadiri pledged the association readiness to collaborate closely with Africa Health Budget Network to amplify its vital work and ensure that advocacy messages effectively reach the relevant authorities.

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