Irked by the incessant cases of untimely death of its members, the Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has organised comprehensive medical tests for practising journalists in the state.
The tests, conducted by a medical expert and nutritionist, Jibe Ologeh, alongside other medical personnel including doctors at the last Congress of council at the Ladi Lawal Press Centre in Ikeja, at the weekend, was aimed at ascertaining the health situation of members, following the reported cases of sudden deaths of journalists in the state.
A statement signed by the Chairman of the Council, Mr. Deji Elumoye, and the Secretary, Mr. Sylva Emeka-Okereke, stated that the checks carried out on all the 22 organs of the body had become necessary, following the alarming rate of high death mortality in the media industry.
The Council regretted that in the last two months, seven of its members have lost their lives to undisclosed ailments, stressing that the Council had mandated all practicing journalists in the state to conduct medical tests to nip the medical problems in the bud.
According to the statement, "We will no longer fold our hands and watch our best hands die in silence. Because of the nature of our job, some of us do not have the time to go for medical checks.
'"This is why we made it mandatory for our members to go for medical checks. This is why we invited our medical team to our Congress last Saturday to conduct the tests including that of HIV/AIDS for our members.
"About 150 members were tested and adequate medical advice given to them. We will continue with the test every month, until we are able to carry out the check on all our members."
While recalling that the council had insured over 140 members in the NUJ insurance scheme and now medical checks, the statement maintained that the council would not relent in anything that would ensure the healthy living of practicing journalists in the state.
The council also enjoined media houses in the state to ensure quarterly medical checks for all the members of staff under their employment as one cannot give out his best unless he is healthy.
Blaming some medical houses for not taking adequate care of the welfare of their staff, the Council said it would not spare any media house that fails to take the welfare of its staff seriously.