By Asmau Ahmad
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged journalists to ensure effective reportage of medical issues to promote children’s health and survival.
Tushar Rane, UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office, Bauchi, gave the charge at a two-day media dialogue on Tuesday in Gombe.
He said the media play greater role in creating awareness among the people towards promoting child health and survival within the first 1,000 days of birth.
According to him, the first 1,000 days of the child starts from pregnancy to two years after birth, adding the period is critical in child’s physical and brain development.
Rane said that 50 per cent of the child’s brain developed at birth and advanced up to 75 per cent at two years, lamenting that poor children are at risk of malnutrition in the first 1,000 days.
Rane charged journalists to create awareness through their reportage towards promoting child health and survival.
“Neuronal pathways develop most rapidly within the days mentioned above, hence the need for public awareness to be created for child health,” he said.
Also, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, stressed the Need for mothers to be acquainted with the process of child development within the first 1,000 days.
Represented by Dr Jibril Mohammed, Director, Administration and Finance in the Agency, Mohammed also recommended adequate sleep for mothers.
“Adequate rest, that is enough sleep for pregnant women, it is important for normal metabolism to take place and avoid complications, depression might set in due to complications.
“The child might also develop malformation as a result of these,” he said.
He, therefore, urged journalists to enlighten parents to encourage uptake of primary healthcare services to achieve good health for children.
About 35 media professionals drawn from Adamawa, Bauchi, Taraba and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), attended the exercise.