The Ministry of Health in collaboration with partners held a one-day training for media practitioners during which the importance of the Liberian media in improving the health delivery system was recognized.
The program, which was held in Kakata last Friday, was addressed by the acting chair for the Incident Management System (IMS), Thomas Nagbe. Mr. Nagbe said the role of the media cannot be overemphasized in the development of Liberia’s health sector.
He said considering the link between the media and the community, it is important for stakeholders in the sector to always include the media in their service delivery activities.
He noted that lessons learned from the Ebola crisis clearly showed the relevance of the media in service delivery.
Dr. Nagbe said, “It was through the media the people were informed on what they could do to prevent the Ebola virus disease. Stakeholders need to strengthen their relationship with the Liberian media to get the necessary messages and services to the people.”
Luwaga Lillian, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), said the media played a critical role during the Ebola crisis, which can be replicated also in the post Ebola period.
She said, “The Ebola crisis indicated that there is no technique the government can use to succeed in fighting against any health problem in the absence of the media.”
Earlier, the County Health Officer of Margibi, Dr. Adolphus Yasiah, said the workshop was designed to create stronger relationship between the health sector and the Liberian media, which the Ministry of Health and partners consider as key in sustaining health services.
Dr. Yasiah noted that there are gaps between the health sector and the communities because access in the health sector depends on the communities with the media being a key factor.
“The communities have connections with the media and the involvement of the press is essential in the development of the entire health sector of Liberia. If institutions are going to succeed, the media has to be greatly involved. We need to engage the communities with the media. If we will succeed in getting to them, the media is critically and constructively needed on board,” Dr. Yasiah noted.
In remarks, the president of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Kamara Abdullah Kamara hailed the Ministry of Health and partners for recognizing the media’s role in the health sector.
He noted that if the media must tell the full story, there is a need to report on all sectors, particularly the health sector.