Journalists have been admonished to ensure their health reports are validated by experts before publishing

Oyo State Coordinator, World Health Organisation,WHO, Dr Phillips Zorto gave the admonition in Ibadan in a remark at a day capacity building for journalists in the state organised by WHO in partnership with the State Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Oyo state chapter.

Dr Zorto explained that it was only when such reports were validated that a journalist could be sure of passing the right information to the public.

He noted that media personnel should be able to set the agenda on health reportage instead of creating panic for members of the public.

“Media have so much power that is the reason why I want to believe that Oyo State Government through the State Ministry of Health organised this training so that you can go and spread this information not only at the State capital but be disseminated at every nooks and crannies of Oyo state so that people can the magnitude of the problem we have at hand…”

Presenting the health situation report on epidemic diseases, the Oyo State Disease Notification Officer, Mrs Titilope Akinleye said that over eighty-five thousand samples were collected for COVID -19 testing, ten thousand, three hundred and eighteen were confirmed, ten thousand and sixty recovered while two hundred and two deaths were recorded.

In a lecture entitled,” The Role of Media in Diseases Emergencies, the Oyo State Chairperson of NAWOJ, Mrs Jadesola Ajibola hinted that reports must not be written to scare the public but to give accurate information.

Earlier, in a welcome address, Oyo State Director of Public Health, Dr Olubunmi Ayinde said the capacity training was an opportunity to enlighten journalists about epidemiology diseases in order to educate members of the public.

Other speakers who spoke on Monkey pox, Lassa fever, Yellow Fever, Meningitis and Neo-Natal Tetanus all appealed to the public not to overlook any sign but report such at the nearest hospital.

Morenike Tony-Esan.

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