By Mohammad Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) — A media development organisation, ‘Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) says it is collaborating with Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) to train Nigerian journalists on reporting Zoonosis [diseases transmitted from animals to humans].
According to the organisation, this has become neccessary looking at the threat posed by diseases such as Ebola, Rabies and Lassa fever, among others in the country.
Late last year, Kaduna state had recorded outbreak of Rabies, and last week, Nigerian health authorities have reported outbreak of Lassa fever in 8 states – where more than 35 deaths have been recorded – this represents 46% of the Case Fatality Rate (CFR).
AMDF Programme Officer, Sekyen Dadik made this known, when she led a team of her colleagues on advocacy visit to the leadership of Nigerian Union of Journalists, Kaduna State Council.
She said the Foundation was set up basically to help in developing capacity of media practitioners across Africa, through trainings and fellowships.
“We are basically out to ensure we help in media development. We had several media training for journalists in Kaduna State. We have equally trained 9 journalists from different media stations on reporting human right abuses.
“We have also in collaboration with NUJ FRCN Kaduna Chapter, trained 16 of their reporters. We also trained 25 journalists on reporting Hemophilia. Therefore, we intend to train 25 journalists on Zoonosis in collaboration with the State Council of NVMA,” she said.
“We are also looking at the posibility of introducing an Exchange Programme for journalists locally as a way of exposing journalists to happenings in order media stations outside their own stations. Our aim is to reach out to African countries with such a programme, but for now we are starting locally,” she explained.
The Programme officer said the Foundation will provide venue and resource persons for the training.
Dadik also enjoined journalists to imbibe the culture of investigative reporting and data journalism, which seeks to bring to light the beauty of every story.
In his remarks, Kaduna NUJ Chairman, Garba Muhammad said capacity training of journalists is top of his administration’s priority.
“We are facing challenges of Lassa fever in a parts of this country. So it will be good for journalists to understand it, so that they will be able to enlighten the public.
“I am also a beneficiary of some of your trainings, therefore it will be a great pleasure to collaborate with your Foundation in the area of capacity training for our members,” he said.
He expressed appreciation to AMDF for the visit, as he assured them of the Council’s total support.