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“Be innovative in your writings”, journalists urged

By
Bertha Badu-Agyei/Akoto, GNA

Koforidua, July, 1,
GNA – Mr George Osei-Bimpeh, the country Director for Send-Ghana, a non
governmental organization, has called on journalists to write more in-depth
stories based on research to feed the public with information that would spur national
development.

He said the trend
where journalists only report on programmes and issues based on speeches and do
not follow up on issues was not the best and urged journalists to be innovative
and creative in writing their stories.

Mr Osei-Bimpeh, who
made the remarks during discussions at a two-day training programme for Ghana
News Agency /MCAN journalists on the P4H project in the Eastern Region, said
researching into issues by journalists sets the agenda which ultimately
influences policy directions.

He said Ghana has come
a long way in implementing policies relating to health and other developmental
issues, however, the media approach “has not been structured well in terms of
following projects and issues to its conclusion to enhance the understanding
and citizenry participation”.

The P4H projects is a
5-year project on health being funded by the USAID and being implemented in 15
districts in 3 regions by a consortium comprising Send-Ghana, Pensplusbytes and
the GNA.

It is to help increase
advocacy and citizens’ participation in the health sector.

The two-day training
was to school the journalists on the distinct role of the media in the project
and the provisions of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) patient charter.

Under the project,
five thematic areas have been identified to be focused on by GNA focal
reporters and MCAN members selected from other media houses in the region and
they include malaria, maternal health, nutrition, family planning, HIV/AIDS and
water, sanitation and hygiene.

As part of the
project, digital dashboard involving the use of mobile phones and social media
would be provided in the implementing districts to enable the citizenry to give
feedback and inputs into health policies and programs which would be collated
as evidence by the consortium to demand answers and policy changes in the
health sector to ensure equitability and accessibility.

Mrs Yaa Oforiwah
Asare-Peasah, the Director of Editorial at the GNA, said the country has made
gains in the provision of healthcare services, however, high maternal deaths,
HIV infections, malaria and inequality in service delivery, remain a challenge

She said these has
contributed to poor healthcare delivery leading to regional disparities and
discrepancies in service provision related to sex, gender, age, occupation and
socio-economic status adding that GNA was coming on board as an implementing
partner of the project with many years of experience.

She said GNA,
established as the communication arm of the government and the only wire
service in the country, would deliver on their mandate as per their lead role
in the P4H project and urged the participating journalist to show passion and
diligence to realize the objective of the project.

Dr Doris Aglobitse,
the MCAN coordinator, said the MCAN had been very instrumental in achieving
most of the targeted goals under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

She said the media was
critical in setting the agenda for policy interventions and was hopeful that
with the expertise of the GNA, the target would be realized.

GNA

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