Journalists present at the workshop
Lead Researcher for the Community-led Responsive and Effective Urban Health Systems (CHORUS) Ghana, Dr. Ada Nwameme, has called on journalists and media stakeholders to focus on urban health issues.
According to Dr. Nwameme, urban centres are heavily populated with issues such as inadequate infrastructure, lack of affordable housing, flooding, pollution, poverty influence on health and disease.
She also added that non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, stroke, and diabetes will soon become a national burden, and with the already existing stress of infectious diseases, urban health issues need to be highlighted in the media.
This she said would help influence policy for effective health systems.
She made this call at a two-day workshop organized by CHORUS, in collaboration with Women, Media, and Change (WOMEC) to introduce journalists to activities of CHORUS on the global, sub-regional, and country levels.
Executive Director of WOMEC, Dr. Charity Binka, stressed on the need for the media to be involved in research processes as well as advocate for urban health issues.
“Research has shown clearly that many people get their health information through the media. Even those who use herbal medicine get their information through the radio, television, and the newspapers. So the media plays a very critical role in disseminating information on health because they stand in the gap between the ordinary people and the researcher,” she stated.
“Researchers do a lot of research and come up with findings but sometimes those findings are left on the shelf. But CHORUS believes that the media must be well informed about urban health issues because it concerns all of us. People have left their villages to urban areas and we need to interrogate how they access health. So if journalists understand the issues then they can spread it through the media in order to educate the public and reach important policy makers,” she added.
By Abigail Atinuke Seyram Adeyemi