13 September 2017

Gambia: UNFPA Trains Journalists On Communicating Sexual, Reproductive Health Messages

At least 30 journalists from the print and broadcast media, including community radios, have undergone a three-day training designed to ginger their interest in reporting stories on sexual and reproductive health and reporting them the right way.

The training, recently held at a hotel in Kololi, was organised and funded by The Gambia office of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

The training also sought to acclamatise the media practitioners with UNFPA intervention areas such as family planning, sexual reproductive health, maternal and child health, population and development, child marriage and female genital mutilation.

Kunle Adeniyi, head of office UNFPA Gambia, said media personnel are the voices and the opinion of the people for they are expected to educate, inform and pass on knowledge that changes behaviour in communities.

Alhagie Kolley, UNFPA national programme officer responsible for reproductive health and HIV and AIDS, said it was important to engage the media personnel in training because most people rely on the media for information.

"And if the population is adequately and accurately enlightened through the media, they will be able to make informed decisions and to act on their own, based on reliable information they received," he said.

"This is why we are providing the media personnel with background information to enable them write or broadcast concrete information using data that are accurate."

Mr Kolley said working with the media will help them at UNFPA to disseminate information to people who are relevant.

Regarding UNFPA support to The Gambia government, he said the UN agency supports the Ministry of Health in the areas of maternal health and family planning and other issues.

He asserted that family planning is very important as it helps couples to make decisions regarding the spacing of their children and the number of children they want.

He said both the husband and wife need to talk about family planning as sexual reproduction issues need to be discussed openly, frankly to be able to come to a joint decision.

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