UNICEF tasks journalists with promoting child healthcare
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has tasked journalists with ensuring effective reporting of medical issues to promote children’s health and survival.
Tushar Rane, UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office, Bauchi, gave the charge at a two-day media dialogue on Tuesday in Gombe.
He said the media play a greater role in creating awareness among the public about promoting child health and survival within the first 1,000 days of birth.
According to Rane, the first 1,000 days of the child's life start from pregnancy to two years after birth, adding that the period is critical to the child’s physical and brain development.
He said that 50 percent of the child’s brain developed at birth and advanced up to 75 percent at two years, lamenting that poor children are at risk of malnutrition in the first 1,000 days.
Rane charged journalists to create awareness through their reportage towards promoting child health and survival.
“Neuronal pathways develop most rapidly within the days mentioned above, hence the need for public awareness to be created for child health,” he said.
Also, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, stressed the Need for mothers to be acquainted with the process of child development within the first 1,000 days.
Represented by Dr. Jibril Mohammed, Director of Administration and Finance in the Agency, Mohammed also recommended adequate sleep for mothers.
“Adequate rest, that is, enough sleep for pregnant women, is important for normal metabolism to take place and to avoid complications. Depression might set in due to complications.
“The child might also develop malformations as a result of these,” he said.
He, therefore, urged journalists to enlighten parents and encourage the uptake of primary healthcare services to achieve good health for children.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that about 35 media professionals, drawn from Adamawa, Bauchi, Taraba, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), attended the exercise.