The Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board has engaged Journalists in the state on a one-day sensitization campaign at the state Primary health care centre Port Harcourt.
The program which had all health reporters and others in attendance was organized to engage and sensitize media houses in the state on Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) surveillance.
Addressing journalist at the event, Dr Tamuno Emi Numbere, one of the facilitators of the program said ” that Acute Flaccid Paralysis is acute onsets of acute paralysis found in the early stage of a child. Any disease or ailment that cannot allow any child to stand or sit properly is called AFP.”
He said that the sensitization program is part of the system of surveillance of AFP in the state which a carried to also register a relationship between the media and the health sector in the state to create strong synergy in establishing a healthier and conducive environment in the state.
He said, that the program will also enhance information flow between the health sectors and the media in the state and also create a background for disseminating the right information.
On his part, the state director of Primary Health Board, Dr Rowland Obed White in his opening remarks at the event said that: “sensitizing and engaging media in Rivers State for the surveillance of AFP is to know how diseases can be controlled or prevented in the state”
He added that our environment is a major factor in disease control/ condition, stressing that the state primary health board is not only partnering with the media houses in the state but also partnering with the education sector as well as communities in the state in ensuring and promoting healthy living in Rivers State.
He said “we want the media to assist the government in seeking health promotion in the state and to also help in educating the public on primary diseases, the ongoing scrutiny of the factors that determine the occurrence and distribution of disease and other condition, and to see how we can disseminate the presence of a disease or an outbreak in a particular area”
The state Director of Primary Health board also called on all journalists/media houses in the state to be proactive in the advocacy of vaccination especially with Faith-based organization in the state.
He pointed out that leaders of some faith-based organization in the state condemn vaccination amongst their subjects/ congregations, and this of cause is the primary reasons why most of the people especially children are vulnerable and victims to diseases that also preempt Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP)
For a response to suspected AFP, the State Disease Surveillance and notification officer can be reached via 08056109538, and 07032788072.