BY ADENIYI ADUNOLA, Lagos
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday trained media personnel on risk communication and community engagement on COVID-19 to be able to communicate effectively through their various platforms.
Speaking during the training, Public Health Communication/Promotion Specialist, WHO, Dr. Chima Onuekwe, said risk communication and community engagement is an essential component of the COVID-19 emergency preparedness and response activities, adding that media personnel were key in ensuring that all individuals receive correct information on COVID-19.
Onuekwe, who was represented by TB Surveillance Officer, Dr. Remi Kusimo, said that what the people want during health emergencies include; information on the coping mechanism.
“The public requires health information on coping mechanisms during crisis and emergencies. Preventive information on how to avoid diseases during an outbreak like cholera, measles and polio is imperative.”
She noted that providing the public with information about the outbreak is critically important, adding that motivational information on the benefit of childhood vaccination, exclusive breastfeeding and proper hygiene practice can only be provided extensively if the mass media accept this as a national patriotic responsibility and service to humanity.
According to her, “People tend to see their lives in a positive light even when things aren’t going well but they have access to the right information. People need positive information to build their confidence.
WHO also declared its commitment to continue to ensure all citizens have access to correct information on COVID-19 which will inform correct behaviour to curb the spread of the disease.