Media Workshop Deliberates on Reporting Routine Immunization

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NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Aiming at addressing the gap in media coverage on public health issues, UNICEF India in a joint venture with George Institute of Global Health, India and the Oxford University is on its way to develop a certified critical skills appraisal program for media reporting on public health with a particular focus on routine immunization.

Deliberations were held on the program in a day-long workshop for journalists with a special focus on routine immunization at People’s Convention Centre in Sector 36 here today. The critical skills appraisal program developed by Oxford University would be used as a starting point to develop a module which would then be offered to journalists as a ‘certification program’.

About 35 media persons, media educators and medical professional from Haryana, Himachal, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Delhi participated in the consultation and shared their experiences for the development of a certified critical skills appraisal program on public health with a particular focus on routine immunization.

The certified critical skills appraisal program on public health would focus routine immunization particularly and would stress on the need to start immunization and vaccination program as a mission like Polio Eradication Program. It is for the first time in the country that a certified program on media reporting on public health is being developed to enable the journalists for accurate reporting on public health with a particular focus on routine immunization.

The first of the series of pre-module development consultations was held in Chennai in September. A series of consultations have been held in different parts of the country to involve journalists, mass media departmental heads and select group of public health professionals from different regions to discuss the current status of media coverage of public health issues in India with special focus on RI.

The Chandigarh consultation held today was the last in the series. The consultation introduced the participants to the critical skills appraisal program and how it can benefit journalists who write on public health issues. Feedback from editors and journalists was sought on the modalities of roll-out of the module across the country.

Dr. Satish Gupta, Health specialist from UNICEF, Delhi office and Suresh Dalpath, State Immunisation Officer, Haryana, participated in the consultation. The challenges at grass root level in media reporting on public health were also discussed in the consultation.