Acting Country Director of Aurum Institute Ghana, Ms. Jabina Anaman, has advised journalists who write on health-related issues, to seek the correct information from health professional s before putting it the news, since the news consuming public mostly take everything they say as the truth.
Speaking at a day’s training workshop for journalists as part of its fifth anniversary in Ghana, Ms. Anaman said consumers of news have very little or no access to medical professionals to help cross whatever information journalists put, so, in that respect, it is important that any health-related information the journalists put out should be correct, since anything less could harm the consumer.
“You (media) are more trusted when it comes to information dissemination so we are confident this training will equip you with the right skill set, to appropriately inform the public on the right health issues.”
Aurum Institute Ghana is a pan African organisastion working to advance health science and innovation, through research and policy formulation, for the greater good of the public. Aurum Ghana is part of the Aurum Institute group which has its head office in South Africa, with offices in Mozambique, eSwatini, Lesotho and the United States.
Since it started in 2017, the institute has collaborated with the Ministry of Energy and the Ghana Health Services, to champion healthcare systems towards early detection of Tuberculosis and Hiv related health problems in selected communities. It has also collaborated with health delivery institutions in the private sector, to deliver quality healthcare for the population.
Through its UNITAID-funded IMPAACT4tb project, the institute is scaling up TB preventive therapy in the country, using the 3HP which helps in the control of TB infections.
Other speakers at the day’s training workshop were Rabiu Alhassan of Fact Check Ghana. A former journalist himself, he advised his colleagues to thoroughly factcheck medical information that comes to their desk, before going public with it. He reminded the journalists of the potential effect misinformation or unverified medical story could have on the public and, therefore, appealed to them to be circumspect in the kind of information they put out.
Programmes Manager of Aurum Institute Ghana, Nana Kofi Quakyi, also reminded the journalists to be mindful of the kind of covid related information they put out. He said the media has a greater responsibility in the ongoing efforts to educate the public on the importance of vaccination. He therefore advised them to be careful about fake reports around vaccines.