Home News AHBN kicks-off journalists’ health hazard trust fund

AHBN kicks-off journalists’ health hazard trust fund

by Haruna Gimba
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By Muhammad Amaan with agency report

The Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) has announced N1 million as a take-off grant for the Emergency and Health Hazards Trust Fund for health journalists in Nigeria.

This announcement was made by AHBN Coordinator, Dr Aminu Magashi Garba, during the Association of the Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHeJ) Congress Meeting held in Abuja.

He disclosed that the AHBN has already deposited N250,000 into ANHeJ’s dedicated bank account as an initial contribution to the innovative financing mechanism.

Dr Magashi called on Nigerians, government at all levels, development partners, and the private sector to empathise with journalists and recognise their humanity as they serve society.

He added that the fund is meant to support health journalists during emergencies and health hazards.

Magashi emphasised that it is time to acknowledge journalists’ personal challenges.

According to him, the emergency and hazard trust fund for the members of ANHeJ, was established in recognition of journalists’ importance to society and their neglect.

“Everyone often takes the journalist for granted, we don’t even want to know what they are going through when they are invited to come and provide coverage of our events for dissemination to the public. We often look down on them, which is why some organisers of events would even shout at a journalist who is late to the event, while not bothering what could be the reason.

“At AHBN, we felt that it is time to change the narrative and the perception of our journalists and we believe that their welfare and well-being should not be taken for granted. This is in no way to influence their reportage because there is no way professional journalists would manipulate facts that are there for everyone to see.

“But, the fact remains that they are human like everyone else, they have feelings, they have commitments and have a duty that was constitutionally recognized, the society should not take that for granted,” he said.

Regarding the fund’s operation that is domiciled in the ANHeJ’s account, Magashi said that it is designed to support any association member facing health challenges or hazards encountered while performing his or her duties.

He urged the public and organisations that rely on journalists to promote their activities to consider emulating AHBN’s initiative for the ANHeJ.

“We are not doing this for any selfish reason, that is why I enjoin well-meaning Nigerians, the private sector, government ministries, departments, and agencies, to contribute to this fund so that it will be sustained.

“We need to sustain it because when journalists are assured of being valued by society, we can expect that the best can only come from them,” Magashi added.

Reacting, ANHeJ’s President, Joseph Kadiri promised that transparency and accountability would be strictly adhered to in the management of the fund.

He also commended AHBN’s positive impact on the journalism profession in the country.

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