Thought Leadership

Reporting health in the Nigerian Press….

1 Mins read
Thought Leadership

Reporting health in the Nigerian Press….

1 Mins read

Recently I was involved in a conversation with a colleague who writes on health issues in South Africa. We discussed about the healty and vibrant debate that went on in the South African press during the tenure of the erstwile Minister of Health in South Africa. Dr. Mantombazana ‘Manto’ Edmie Tshabalala-Msimang will be remebered for her emphasis on treating South Africa’s AIDS epidemic with vegetables such as garlic and beetroot, rather than with western antiretroviral medicines. We talked about the debates about acces to anti retrovirals and to Mbeki’s stubborn stance on HIV/AIDS. I felt her pride in the role of the South African press in shaping the discourse.

She asked me…how the press reported health in Nigeria.

…mmmh….well…sadly Apart from Chukwumah Muanya who writes for the Guardian, I cannot point to any other journalist in the Nigerian press who has consistently reported health stories and put the often difficult issues into pespective.

So for all its worth, I looked for the stories that have appeared over the past few weeks. Sadly …at least 95% of press stories in the Nigerian press report what our public officers say. No critical analysis, no context, no perspective….just what the Minister says!

Find below a small fraction of what the Minister of Health has said…courtesy of the Nigerian press:

1. Vanguard: Osotimehin Enjoins Nigerians to Donate Blood Voluntarily

2. The Sun: Health minister declares war on tobacco

3. World news: Osotimehin – Sustained Funding Will Hasten Elimination of Malaria

4. Thisday: Osotimehin – Nigeria’s Battle Ready for Malaria

5. Vanguard: Oshotimehin advocates for community participation in health

6. Vanguard: Professor Babatunde Osotimehin has tasked the media to sustain the high level of awareness about the A(H1N1) Influenza among the citizenry of the country.

….if the the purpose of a free press in a democracy is to guarantee free and open debate and discussion…it is not happening in Nigeria….and it is NOT the Minister’s fault!

http://www.nigeriahealthwatch.com/

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Related posts
Thought Leadership

Global Health Partnerships: Japan and Nigeria Working Together for Better Healthcare

4 Mins read
Abara Erim and Ohanu Dabri Olohije (Lead Writer) “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far,…
Thought Leadership

Shifting Power: Three ways Local Government Financial Autonomy can impact Primary Healthcare in Nigeria

4 Mins read
Last week, Nigeria’s Supreme Court delivered a judgement granting financial autonomy to Local Government Areas (LGAs) in a suit filed by the…
Thought Leadership

Catching Up on Zero-Dose and Under-Vaccinated Children in Africa: Insights From UNICEF

5 Mins read
Zubaida Baba Ibrahim [Lead Writer] Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, immunisation efforts in Africa have experienced a significant…

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *