Stakeholders have expressed concern over increasing COVID-19 infections in Adamawa State despite robust sensitization by the media since the incursion of the pandemic into the state.
Disturbed by the ugly development, journalists and media practitioners have been enjoined to redouble their efforts on sensitization and urged to be innovative in evolving new ways of passing messages that will appeal to the public.
During one day workshop in Yola, the stakeholders also harped on the importance of observing NCDC protocols especially using face masks, social distancing and enhancing hygiene including washing of hands.
World Health Organisation (WHO) representative and a member of the state COVID 19 committee, Dr. Jerry Pantuvo in a remark during a one-day training for journalists against Polio (JAP) organized by Adamawa State Primary Health department Agency, ADSPHDA and UNICEF called for a change of attitude about the disease.
Pantuvo observed that the majority of the people are no longer wearing face masks, observing social distancing, and washing hands frequently as demanded.
Pantuvo added that journalists need to propagate extensively on the reality that the virus still exists noting that some people up to now are still doubting its existence.
He also harped on the stigmatization of victims which needs to be given much attention as the disease is not a death sentence saying that COVID-19 is a disease that can affect anybody.
“Victims should be helped and encouraged to come out of the trial because COVID-19 is real as anyone, whose sample is taken and declared positive by NCDC experts are confirmed affected persons with the virus.
“Journalists as critical stakeholders in the fight need to be abreast with a view to create more awareness to communities for prevention and management of its spread,” Pantuvo stressed.
In his keynote speech on behalf of state Ministry of Health, Mr.Paul Dogara said the state government is appreciative of the contribution of the media in educating the populace on the virus and other diseases.
Dogara maintained that media as stakeholders need to add more effort so that citizens take precautionary measures in tackling the virus.
Dogara suggests that the meeting should be seen as the best panacea to slow down the transmission of the virus and other diseases in our communities.
Earlier in his welcome address, chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ Adamawa state Council, Comrade Donald Dedan said journalists as partners in progress in societal development are always ready to do their bid.
Dedan called on journalists at the workshop to use the knowledge impacted on them to the benefit of the larger society as professional mass communicators.