NHW, NGSG trains 25 health misinformation management agents
Nigeria Health Watch (NHW), in collaboration with the Niger State Government, through its Ministry of Primary Healthcare and that of Secondary and Tertiary Health, has completed a three-day intensive capacity-building training for the 25 newly inaugurated state health misinformation management fellowship members.
The three-day training programme, which took place at the Niger state office of the National Programme on Immunisation (NPI), known as Epic Unit in Minna, between October 23 and 25, 2023, preceded the inauguration of the fellowship members at the Guidel Hotel in Minna last Friday.
The fellowship members were engaged in a series of activities to empower them with the relevant information and skills that will enable them to function effectively while on the field as change agents for the health misinformation management project in the state.
The overall objective of the Health Misinformation Management Fellowship programme was to build a community that is informed, resilient, and empowered in the face of health misinformation.
Declaring the training opened, the Deputy Director, Disease Control, in the state Ministry of Decondary and Tertiary Health, Dr. Ibrahim Na'Allah, said the health sector in the state was the chief beneficiary of the programme, and their joy was immeasurable.
He disclosed that they were so stressed up trying to manage health misinformation in the state, especially the department of public health, hoping that with the training, health misinformation will soon be a thing of the past in the state.
Okechi Nzedibe, one of the five World Health Organisation (WHO)-certified infodemic managers in Nigeria, shared her knowledge on health misinformation with the participants, saying WHO has a keen interest in the programmeme and is aware of the programmeme going on in the state, urging them to take the training seriously.
She observed that during outbreaks, health experts find it difficult to manage the situation due to the overload of misinformation on the health issue at hand, which she said was even more dangerous than the health challenge, adding that the training was very important to the health sector.
Nzedibe added that a lack of sufficient accurate information breeds rumour, which graduates into misinformation, and then the infodemic sets in, appealing to the participants to be the change agents that will assist in curbing health misinformation.
While giving a vote of thanks at the closing ceremony of the training programmeme on Thursday, the assistant state disease surveillance notification officer in Niger State, Mr. Uriah Mamudu, appreciated the participants for their commitment to the programmeme.
He equally urged them to go into the field and share the knowledge they acquired during the training programme, as well as to be good ambassadors of the state and Nigeria Health Watch (NHW).
The team of facilitators at the training programmeme, led by Abara Erim (Programme Coordinator, NHW), Solomon Oladimeji (Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Coordinator), Sunday Oko (Programme Assistant), and Sonia Biose, all expressed satisfaction with the level of commitment and participation from the participants during the training programmeme, declaring that learning had taken place due to the improvement in the result of the post-training test compared to that of the pre-training test.