by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Challenge Initiative (TCI) University has trained media men on Family Planning/Child Birth Spacing, Saves Lives and Promotes Economic Prosperity.
The 3 days’ training, which held in Jos, Plateau state, was to facilitate the role of the media in enhancing policy commitment, actions and community support for increased access to quality family planning information and services in the state.
The journalists are expected to engage in public dialogue with
decision makers, religious, traditional and community leaders on family
planning issues in the state and to also allocate airtime and spaces to create
visibility and awareness on family planning in the state.
They are also expected to use media platforms to drive government investment and actions on family planning and were also asked to use media to educate and enlighten the public on benefits of family planning and ensure accountability for family planning by government.
The state programme coordinator of TCI, Dr. Philemon Yohanna, said journalist are critical to the dissemination of messages on family planning; also critically in the advocacy tendencies and are necessary to ensure the enabling environment for family planning.
He explained that, “Enabling environment means, the provision of adequate funding, the sensitization and even facilities. The media is necessary because it’s being seeing as the bedrock of information, because a lot of people get their information on media because it has a wider coverage.
“The importance of the media is for you to be able to pass some messages to the nuke and cronies and to give a wider coverage of the state,” he said.
The coordinator further noted that, people believe more in the media, because it being considered as factual, as a source, and considered as educational entertainment.
He stated that, TCI is to educate them on family planning and on the dangers; on its benefits, the economic, the religious, the societal and, especially also the youths, so that they can pass the massage.
Dr. Yohanna added that, training the media practitioners is to enable them give the factual, accurate and important message to the public.
Media practitioners, he said, have been able to sustain strategies that have been able to pass to the general population, saying they are working with Plateau state government through what is called “Business Unusual Model” for the past 3 years.
According to Dr Yohanna, “In TCI programme, the government leads, while TCI gives the coaching. Government is the driver for all sustainable strategies, government brings about principals, we give them the coaching and they are the ones to inculcate and bring about sustainable structures on ground.
“TCI does not create structures; it uses existing structures in its own effectiveness ways and also assists to give capitalistic funding to government to kick-start the programme.
“We are expected that we empower government, empower the people to be able to make decisions and run up with the programme and bring about change to the entire populations in the state on Family Planning,” Yohanna stated.