Karachi, /DNA/ – Considering media as the fourthpillar of a state due to its important roletowardstransferring information and opinion making, experts at a consultative workshop have called for capacity building of media personsespecially on health issues including provision of emergency healthcare services.
Healthcare professionals, representativesfrom media regulators, media experts and academiciansattended the consultative workshop whichwasorganized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), APPNA Institute of Public Health-Jinnah SindhMedicalUniversity and Khyber MedicalUniversity.
Objective of the workshop, whichwas part of the ICRC’s Health Care in Danger (HCiD) initiative, was to develop training for journalists to promoteethical and responsiblereporting on the issues related to healthcare in Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Lubna Ansari-Baig, Chairperson AIPH-JSMU, said, “Variousresearchstudies have identifiedthatirresponsible media reportingalwayshinders the provision of emergency healthcare services. There is a need to improve the standards of media reporting on health issues to countermisperceptions, promotefactualreporting, and stop the gradualerosion of trust betweenhealthcare providers and the public.”
The experts in the workshop deliberated in depthupon the problemspertaining to reporting on health matters in national media and providedtheir feedback to strengthen the content of the training. Theyalsostressedupon the need for following up thisexercisewith hands-on trainings for journalists on ethical standards of reporting on health.
Participating in the discussion, Secretary General of Pakistan Medical Association, Dr QaisarSajjad, said, “Healthcare workers are working in challengingcircumstances, especially in emergency departments, to provide life-saving services. Theyneed the support of media personnel to promote attitudes and behavioursamong the general public thatfacilitate the provision of healthcare services”.
The representatives of media at the workshop voiced the needs of journalists and reporters specific to reporting on health care. Theycalled for media persons’ capacity building and trainings to objectively report on the issues facing the healthcaresector.
At the same time, theywerealso of the viewthatit’s important for healthcareworkers to alsoenhancetheir communication skills to enable a clearer flow of information between the media and healthcareprofessionals, especiallyduringdisasters or emergencies.
Under the HCiD initiative, the ICRC has been working to makehealthcaresafer in Pakistan by promotingevidence-based initiatives in collaboration with diverse stakeholdersincluding public health institutions, medicalacademia, healthcareauthorities, and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society.