GJA Chairman Calls for Collaboration Between the Media and Health Institutions
Mr Eric Kwadjo Amoh, the Upper East Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), has called on health institutions in the Region to collaborate effectively with the media to enhance public education on health issues.
He said such collaboration would create opportunities and offer health service providers the platform to explain some of their policies at the hospital to members of the public, which would further reduce workload on health personnel in the various facilities.
He said “if there is a problem and a media person calls you, if you do not want to speak on phone, arrange a meeting. It is very important.”
Mr Amoh made the call when he contributed to a round-table discussion between the Upper East Regional Security Council and management of the Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga, on challenges facing health care delivery in the facility.
The Chairman said people reported cases in anger to media personnel to attract their sympathy which compelled journalists to approach health care professionals in similar fashion, and added that when both media and health personnel interact closely, the explanations they would offer on some of the issues reported to journalists, would encourage them to do more public education.
He observed that there were lots of policies in various health facilities that were not made public, and so many clients who visited those facilities were not conversant with daily routine activities, especially at the Regional Hospital.
“We can build a better collaboration and team work because you are not only dealing with the sick but the public. We all know that psycho is also a disease, if a person is not psychologically comfortable, he or she is sick. I would advise that we collaborate on where you think there is a problem that you need the media.”
Mr ZakariahYakubu, the Head of Administration at the Regional Hospital, in response, appealed to media personnel to endeavour to call senior health service officials, when issues cropped up because they were in better positions to explain to the public issues regarding health facilities.
He noted that some media personnel sometimes called junior officers, who may not have emotional control acumen to understand them for a healthy chat, “sometimes the younger ones may not be able to have that absorption and it could result into arguments,” he added.
Mr Yakubu disclosed that plans were underway to resume a radio programme that was run by the Regional Hospital last year to interact weekly with members of the public.
“We are on one end, they are on another end, there is need for that convergence somewhere so we can move along,” he said.