Bauchi State Government in collaboration with Plan International has conducted a two-day orientation for twenty Media professionals with a view to develop Radio programme and Jingles to encourage the uptake and acceptance of covid-19 vaccine by people of the state.
The training which drew participants from Radio, Television as well as print and online media outlets, is supported by the Global Affairs Canada’s BORN Costed Extension Project, to curb the spread of the virus.
Speaking to Radio Nigeria, the Deputy Health Educator in the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Mohammed Ribado Jibril, said the government had identified some gaps with regards to Behavioral Change on the Covid-19 vaccination roll out and hesitancy, hence the orientation.
Ribado Jibril emphasized the need for the media to put extra efforts towards enlightening people on the importance of taking the vaccine for their health benefits.
The National Project Manager, Mohammad Nasir Musa, said the project has noted drastic reduction in ante-natal and post- natal care attendance, hospital based delivery and immunization among other Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health, MNCH, issues due to fear of contracting Coronavirus pandemic.
“Plan International has been in Bauchi state for the past four and half years, we’ve supported the state to implement interventions that led to some positive results in the areas of maternal and neonatal health. Covid-19 came and it has the potential of reversing all the progress that we have achieved over the years, now that the state government and the federal are engaging in vaccination, we want to partner with the media to see how we can sensitize people in the community to accept that vaccination” – he said.
Mohammad Nasir who acknowledged the role of the media in shaping the society, expressed optimism that engaging the mass media would change negative perception about the vaccine.
A participant who spoke to Radio Nigeria, Hafsat Ibrahim Sidi of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) said the orientation has widened her views on Covid-19 Vaccine and pledged to use her God given talent to enlighten the community to accept the vaccine.
Also interview Najib Sani, a journalist with Blue Print newspaper and public affairs analyst, who noted that the orientation was apt in view of the people’s fear and rejection of Covid-19 vaccine due to some personal reasons, pledged to put his expertise and experience to educate them on the need to make themselves available for the vaccination.