By Juliana Kabba
The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) on Monday 30th October conducted training for a group of journalists, from both print and electronic media, on reporting Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).
The training took place at the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel in Freetown.
The objective, according to the facilitators, was to provide the participants with valuable insights, resources, and tools that will enhance their SRHR reporting skills. The training was also designed to position the journalists to champion the adoption of the Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health (SMRH) Bill, which is under scrutiny.
In a statement during a short opening session of the training, Isabellah Mutuka,
Communications Officer for APHRC, pointed out that the media advocates for evidence-based policies which are instrumental in promoting equitable access to sexual and reproductive health and rights services, thereby contributing to the well-being of the people.
Lead facilitator, Dr Denis Galava, said the training aims to enhance media practitioners’ ability to advocate for communities and above all to be agent of change. He noted that the role of journalists in advocating for sexual and reproductive health and related issues include raising awareness, providing platform for different voices, holding powerful people and institutions accountable, and to promote understanding and compassion.
In a presentation on the topic: ‘Using the media to influence public opinion and persuade policymakers to adopt SRHR policies,’ Dr Galava urged journalists to use data and to frame stories in ways that make them relevant to their audience, emphasizing on the importance of making stories widely accessible, among a host of other observations.