By Amina Ahmed
An NGO, Journalists for Public Health Development Initiative (J4PD) has trained 35 Journalists from broadcast, print and online media organisations on reportage of health insurance programme.
The one-day training was organised by J4PD in partnership with Bauchi State Health Management Contributory Agency (BASCHMA) and supported by USAID-Integrated Health Programme (IHP).
The Coordinator of J4PD, Ms Elizabeth Carr, said the training was aimed at exposing participants to issues around health insurance.
Carr urged the media practitioners to champion the crusade to increase access to basic healthcare in the state.
She said participants from community radio should introduce platforms and design programmes to inform dwellers to reduce the burden of diseases in the society.
She appreciated USAID -IHP, BACHMA and Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bauchi State Council, for their support.
Meanwhile, the USAID-IHP Health Financing Adviser, Mr Khalid Kasimu, said that the media should create awareness on the importance of healthcare reforms for positive outcomes.
Kasimu encouraged the Journalists to engage stakeholders on such reforms through constant reportage and sensitisation for policymakers and civil society groups at the grassroots level.
“The media can promote an improved understanding, enrollment of social health insurance schemes.”
In his presentation, the Executive Chairman of BASCHMA, Dr Mustapha Dada, said that the programme had over 42,000 enrollees.
“The agency has over 400 health facilities, primary health centers, 26 secondary health facilities; five tertiary and 14 private clinics are registered as service providers in the state.”
However, the Chairman of NUJ, Bauchi State Council, Mr Umar Saidu commended J4PD for training journalists, including community radio stations to keep the residents abreast of happenings of government activities.
Saidu urged participants to employ their reporting skills to add value to health reportage to the general public, adding that health reports would change the narratives around public health.(NAN)