NTBLCP, USAID Train Journalists on TB Reportage

The National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme in collaboration with the Breakthrough ACTION (BA), a USAID-funded project has organised a capacity building workshop for health reporters on reporting and content development for TB in Nigeria.

The four-day workshop was aimed at building a critical mass of Journalists who would continuously report as well as develop programme – contents that would greatly contribute to increased TB and Leprosy case finding and response in the country.

The Workshop also intended to draw the attention of health writers, Newspapers and content producers in broadcast media to the reality of TB and its challenges in Nigeria.

Speaking at the workshop, the Head, Advocacy Communication and Social Mobilisation/Behavioural Change Communication (ACSCC) in TB, Mrs. Itohowo Ukoh, commended the participants for their attendance and passion for the fight against TB.

Mrs. Ukoh assured that with the commitment of the Media and the cooperation of a well-informed public, the narrative on TB would change for the better.

Declaring the workshop open earlier, the Assistant Director, ACSCC, Mrs. Omolola Shofowora listed some of the challenges in the fight against TB to include: low public awareness about TB, poor media coverage, poor health seeking habit and misconceptions, inadequate information and stigmatization, amongst others.

She therefore informed that the training would develop the capacity of the media practitioners and their roles in social behaviour change with regards to Tuberculosis control.

Stressing on the role of the media in TB control, Shoforowa charged the 22 participants drawn from the Print, Electronics and other Channels of Mass communication to regularly produce news, features and disseminate information about Local/National TB control activities.

She further tasked participants on the need to put on the front burner of public discourse, the effect of poor policy and legislative environment on TB control activities in Nigeria while urging them to become good TB advocates and Ambassadors.

Resource persons made various presentations on topics such as: Overview of TB situation in Nigeria; Trend in TB case finding in Nigeria and the HCD process; Steps to Behaviour Change /formation-and ‘’where our programs/stories fit in’’

Other topics discussed were: Understanding the Socio-ecological model and how it affects our contents; How does Communication work; The role of the Media in Social Behaviour Change (SBC) and Framing Health Issues in the Media, amongst others.

Boade Akinola,

Media and Public Relations