NGO Emphasises Inclusion in Women’s Health Advocacy

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The Center for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI), in collaboration with Pathfinder International, has stressed the importance of amplifying diverse voices to address women’s health issues. This call aims to reduce high maternal mortality rates through awareness and promotion of healthy lifestyles among women.

At a recent capacity-building workshop for journalists in Lagos, CCSI’s Technical Advisor, Oluyemi Abodurin, highlighted the various health challenges women face, including maternal mortality, breast cancer, endometriosis, and fibroids. Abodurin urged collaboration between the media and the government to tackle these issues effectively. He emphasised that journalists should work with the government to advocate for necessary changes and that the government should enforce policies to protect women’s rights and ensure access to healthcare.

Dr. Sakina Bello, Senior Program Advisor at Pathfinder International, underscored the role of media advocacy in achieving women’s health objectives in Lagos and other regions. She explained that media partners are essential in raising awareness about ongoing projects and reporting on women’s health issues, thus bringing them to the public’s attention.

Bello expressed optimism that media coverage would highlight gaps in the healthcare sector, including the challenges faced by health workers, public ignorance, lack of awareness of government policies, and the state of primary healthcare centers. She also noted the impact of the “JAPA” syndrome, referring to the mass exodus of health workers seeking better opportunities abroad.

Dr. Victoria Omoera, Director and Reproductive Health Coordinator at the Lagos Ministry of Health, discussed the state government’s efforts in promoting women’s health. She mentioned the establishment of the Maternal and Child Reduction Advisory Committee in 2008, which provides technical guidance on reducing maternal and newborn deaths. Dr. Omoera emphasized the significant role of female healthcare providers and the need to place women in leadership positions to better advocate for women’s health.

The workshop aimed to equip journalists with the knowledge to report ethically and effectively on sensitive women’s health topics, such as female genital mutilation and sexual violence. This training is expected to improve media coverage and support efforts to address women’s health challenges comprehensively.

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