The Federal Ministry of Health has urged the media to create more awareness on family planning to enable Nigeria achieve a better modern contraceptive prevalence rate by 2024.
Director, Reproductive Health in the ministry, Dr Kayode Afolabi, made the call in Abuja on Friday during an online media training for health reporters and features writers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was in collaboration with the ministry and Rotary International.
“This is an opportunity to make the media promote family planning services in the country.
According to him, the collaboration with relevant stakeholders will ensure the promotion of key message on the product at the grassroots by the media.
He said that media, as watchdog of the society, would hold the people in power accountable because they were trusted sources of information.
The director urged the media to always clarify any information to determine its authenticity.
He said that government had done a lot in the family planning campaign, with rebranding of the product services with the `Dot’ logo.
Afolabi said that the country needed strong motivation and effective knowledge on the product.
According to him, the best intervention is to create public awareness about the need for family planning, while encouraging couples to start and continue the practice after marriage.
Afolabi listed the barriers for family planning uptake to include fertility-related barriers, methods, myths and misconceptions.
He said that effective population management for improved quality of life for Nigerians depended on reversal of the current high fertility rate as well as maternal, infant and child mortality rate, with low modern contraceptive prevalence rates.
Mrs Ladidi Bako-Aiyegbusi, Director and Head, Health Promotion Division, Family Health Department in the ministry, called on the media to always fact-check the websites to ensure that their stories were true.
Bako-Aiyegbusi said that the media must have sufficient information and evidence on any story they pushed out.
According to her, before publishing any story, the reporter should seek the views of experts.
“People look up to the media. Therefore, they need to ensure that the context will elevate the audience’s emotion and make them show interest in the story,’’ she said.
Bako-Aiyegbusi advised the media to always use simple language that would be easily understood by the audience.
She said that the role of the media was to highlight public issues by making them an agenda to assist policy makers.