Amby Uneze in Owerri
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), have called on the media practitioners in the country to focus more on issues affecting the wellbeing of women and children in their reportage.
The UNICEF and NUJ stated this in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, during the Multi-Zonal Media Dialogue on Dissemination of Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) with journalists from the South-east, South-south and North-central in attendance.
The media dialogue was organised by the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA) in collaboration with the UNICEF.
Speaking at the dialogue, UNICEF Communication Officer, Dr. Ijeoma Onuoha-Ogwe, said that the dialogue was organised to galvanise action, unify with government and persons in positions to take favourable actions for children’s well-being.
Onuoha-Ogwe described the UNICEF as the world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, adding that the organisation has been supporting child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.
In his remarks, the Chairman of NUJ Rivers State Council, Mr. Stanley Joe, lamented that journalists have abandoned their core responsibilities of advocating for the masses and now focus on politics and politicians for the reasons best known to them.
Joe said: “The goals are to assist countries in filling data gaps for monitoring human development indicators in general and the situation of children and women in particular.
“Data are provided on child mortality, health, nutrition, education, child and social protection, women’s health care, empowerment and vaccination coverage provided through the health systems.
“MICS results reveal that Nigeria has made progress in some sectors, child mortality decreased from 1 in 8 children dying before their fifth birthday to 1 in 10 children.
“There has also been significant progress in exclusive breastfeeding and birth registration rate.
‘The exclusive breastfeeding rate, according to MICS reports, increased from 24 per cent to 34 per cent, while nearly 60 per cent of Nigerian children are now registered at birth with civil authorities, compared to 47 per cent in 2016.
“In addition, child marriage (women married before age 18) has reduced from 44 per cent to 30 per cent since 2016.
“Other traditional harmful practice, like female circumcission, maltreatment of widows, and child trafficking should at all times be condemned by the media through her reportage.
“We seemed to focus more on politics and politicians, thereby neglecting these all important areas. It is said that what is not reported, did not take place.”
The Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, UNICEF, Mrs. Maureen Zubie-Okolo, made presentations on MICS 6 results for “Health and Nutrition: Implications?”
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