PESHAWAR: Health Experts emphasized on responsible journalism to eradicate the polio disease from Federal Administered Tribal Area and the entire Pakistan.
The experts said that eradication of polio from the country is possible when media play a role to aware parents regarding the importance of polio vaccine, adding that one negative story can affect the whole efforts regarding the eradication of polio.
This was said in a training workshop organized by the Operations Center (EOC) FATA Secretariat, in collaboration with UNICEF, organized a day-long training workshop on “Reporting Polio; Addressing Misconception” for health beat journalists from different print and electronic media here at Islamabad.
The purpose of the workshop was to train the reporters on reporting polio related stories objectively and to update the journalists about polio program, highlight the importance of vaccinating every child, discuss vaccine safety, frequently asked questions, reaching the last mile to polio eradication and did an exercise on reporting polio.
Assistant Director EPI-PEI Iftikhar Ali inaugurated the training and in his opening remarks highlighted the importance of media and appreciated positive role it has played in changing perception. He said “media spreads news to millions in seconds and influences opinions of many therefore fact based objective reporting is important”.
Team Lead UNICEF-FATA Dr. Tufail Ahmad during his session shared a brief history of polio, its types, discussed how it spreads and how many types of vaccines are available for its prevention. He said “we getting closer to polio eradication and every child should be vaccinated with Oral Polio Vaccine in every campaign especially children on the move”.
National Coordinator WHO-FATA Dr. Sarfaraz Afridi conducted session on vaccine safety and efficacy and importance of repeated campaigns for polio eradication. He explained the development of polio vaccine and its importance for polio eradication.
He emphasized that polio vaccine is the safest vaccine and there is no record of deaths resulted due to vaccine in the region. He said “vaccination help people stay healthy, benefits not only individuals but also communities and vaccination has significantly reduced global mortality because of vaccine preventable diseases.”
On the occasion senior Journalists Mehmood Jan Baber and Safiullah Gul conducted session on media ethics and the role of Journalists while giving news regarding polio.