We need bold journalists to change health of women in Africa – WAHO DG

he Director-General of the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO), Professor Stanley Okolo, says Africa needs bold journalists who will speak up for change in women and children’s health.
He said the health needs of women must preoccupy every well-meaning African to ensure that the health systems and arrangements respond to the needs of women and children.

“The health of women and children is key to our sustenance as a people and, therefore, we need our journalists to tell the stories of those disadvantaged to prick the conscience of society to act and act fast,” he added.
Prof Okolo made the call at the closing ceremony of a two-day regional dissemination conference where nine journalists from three West African countries were awarded for their insightful articles on women, newborn, children and adolescents.
The theme for the extensive deliberations on women’s health, particularly on maternal health, was “Catalysing leadership to improve health outcomes for women, adolescents and children in West Africa project”.
Presenting the awards, Prof Okolo said, “Throughout my engagements at this conference, I have indicated the need for bold journalists who would prick the conscience of society on women’s health and I’m happy that these awardees have already taken the charge.”
The awards scheme was organised by Women, Media and Change (WOMEC), a partner on the WNCAW project being implemented in six West African countries focused on using the media to empower women on their health rights.
The President of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, Professor Chris Adanu, said women’s health issues appear to be relegated to the background due to several unexplained factors.
That, he said, places a charge on journalists to champion their concerns to bring the realities to the fore for redress.
He commended the WNCAW, COMCAHPSS, WOMEC and the ARHR for their unwavering commitment towards women’s health and well-being in general.
The two-day high-powered conference was attended by health practitioners, civil society organisations, media persons and members of the academia from countries in the West African region.


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