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Reporting for Development II

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized a Media Training for Legislative Reporters on Maternal Health with support from Mac Arthur Foundation. The training…

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized a Media Training for Legislative Reporters on Maternal Health with support from Mac Arthur Foundation. The training drew about 20 participants from various media organisations. The training featured Dr Aminu Magashi, Dr Paul Manya Dogo, Mr Iliya Kure, Malam Y. Z. Ya’u and Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf as the lead presenters. After exhaustive deliberations on various thematic issues, the following observations and recommendations were made:
OBSERVATIONS:
1. There were contradictions in the achievements in healthcare services reported in official presentations and the media’s assessment of health care services in the State.
2. Lack of encouragement, support and cooperation exist among medical personnel and other stakeholders towards media reportage on health related matters.
3. Lack of transparency, accountability, monitoring, proprietary interest and inadequate media attention to health related issues have hampered effective media reportage on maternal health in the State.
4. Rising level of corruption, poorly paid journalists and lack of political commitment have posed a critical challenge to the achievement of effective media reportage and support for maternal health in the State.
5. Among the 32% doctors in Local Government Areas in the State, the majority have abandoned hospital practice leading to inadequate skilled and medical personnel; and poor reporting skills and knowledge in part of the media correspondence on health related matters.
6. Weak approach towards the provision of maternal health care; and unfavourable working conditions have encouraged continuous migration of skilled health workers from the State to other parts of world.
7. Inadequate budgetary allocation to health care sector has hindered the provision maternal health services in the State.
8. Weak oversight of the State House of Assembly budgetary allocation to maternal health has led to serious decline in the monitoring framework of maternal and newborn health.
9.      The State’s executives are considered as major stakeholders in the formulation and implementation of effective maternal health policies.
10. Dearth of medication and inadequate number of Primary Healthcare Centres for women and children in the State constitute obstacles to efforts at reducing maternal mortality.
RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. Increased focus on social media to drive health related reportage; and integration of the various media into a common platform.
2.      Well-informed media reportage and investigative journalism on health related is a priority
3. Aggressive demand by the media for continuous political commitment, transparency and accountability in the health sector; and developmental journalism using the provision of Freedom of Information Act.
4. Increased media and social media understanding of budgetary advocacy and engagement on maternal health.
5. Effective media reportage, publicity and support on CSOs-Legislative related activities on maternal health as a catalyst to create well-informed society.
6. Effective oversight of the State House of Assembly towards maternal and new born issues.
7. Adequate provision of medical facilities and enhanced working conditions for medical workers in the State.
8. Judicious utilization of existing resources towards the provision of effective health care facilities in the State.
9. Integrated multi-sectorial approach towards the promotion of maternal health services in the State; and the use of social media to enhance audience support and interactive dialogue on maternal accountability.
10.  Continuous demand by the media from the State Executives for equipped Primary and Secondary health facilities to provide comprehensive medical attentions at grassroots level.

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