BY ANDY ASEMOTA, Katsina
A part of the corporate social responsibility of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Katsina State Council, select members of the union under the aegis of Journalists Against Polio (JAP) are to facilitate town hall meeting with several communities across various high risk local government areas in the state.
The state chairman of the union, Buhari Mamman Daura, who gave this commitment during the media practioners’ and the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) focused group meeting facilitated by UNICEF in Katsina, Daura said the engaged journalists will feature in resolving non-compliance cases, educating and mobilizing the communities, policy makers and partners’ involvement in Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) and Polio Eradication Initiatives.
He further explained that the journalists would also undertake joint monitoring of Immunization Plus Days (IPDs) with local government area teams and community leaders and also provide media coverage.
The NUJ chief also assured the commitment of all members of the fourth estate of the realm to support all stakeholders in the development of the state.
In his remarks, the former coordinator of JAP, Abdullahi Izma Yamadi, described the increased level of participation of journalists in the fight against polio as a new dawn in the state and applauded the organizational support of UNICEF and other stakeholders towards the success of the initiatives.
The Executive Secretary of KTSPHCDA, Dr. Mu’awuyya Aliyu, represented by the Assistant Health Educator of the agency, Abba Musa, said no fewer than two million children are expected to be immunized across the state in the forthcoming IPDs slated for July 8 – 11, 2017.
Dr. Aliyu, who assured that adequate vaccines against polio and other childhood killer diseases as well as other inputs for the immunization campaign had been put in place, urged journalists not to rest on their oars in the fight against polio.
In his address, the State Health Educator, UNICEF Katsina team, represented by his assistant, Nura Dalhatu, said mass media are among the most influential drivers of advocacy vehicle in mobilizing public support and political will towards polio eradication.
He called for active participation of all key drivers and influencers of public opinion in creating and sustaining demand for vaccination services.