Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on Saturday, declared that without the inputs and efforts of journalists, the fight against COVID-19 will not make a headway.
Ganduje described the media and the media profession as cardinal and indispensable in the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.
He called on government and corporate organizations to recognize the indispensability of the media and appreciate the risk journalists take in their quest to gather information and get it disseminated to the public.
Ganduje who spoke during a one-day Training Workshop on Prevention and Safety of Journalists Against COVID-19, organized by Kano state government in collaboration with Ministerial Task Force on COVID-19 in Kano, promised tht his administration will continue to synergize with the media in the battle against the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
According to him, “this occassion is very important. There is no way I can doubt that the synergy between the Ministerial Team on COVID-19 in Kano and the media in the state remains very important.
“Looking at the theme of the workshop, it first of all, protect the journalist and journalism as a profession. This is so because journalists are the front line workers, just like the health workers.
“As the health workers are vulnerable to risk, journalists are even more vulnerable because they have limited knowledge of the infectious disease.
“It is my believe that the workshop will further inform and educate journalists on the procedures and the best way to report Corona Virus.
“I am impressed and happy that this workshop is taking place in Kano. Members of the media are very critical in the war against infectious disease.
“The media do the professional job in passing the information to the members of the public because without that the health workers’ efforts will may not be appreciated.
“The media are conversant with culture and attitude of the people; and they know the best way to pass information to the members of the public the way they can understand.
“The media also know the feelings of members of the public and can convey same to the powers-that-be so that they can do the needful and reflect the needs and aspirations of members of the public to the authorities.
“The media have the responsibility to visit testing centres, Isolation Centres and sample collection centres to see what is happening there and report same so that the authorities will take note and do the right thing.”
Also speaking, Prof. Abdulsalam Nasidi, who represented the Minister of Health, Dr. Ehanire Osagie, said President Muhammadu Buhari commended Ganduje for coming up with the initiative of training journalists on how best to keep safe while reporting COVID-19.
According to him, “the Minister of Health has mentioned this event to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. He did so during a meeting yesterday (Friday) during which President Buhari was at the meeting.
“President Buhari expressed his gratitude to Governor Ganduje for empowering the Ministerial Team to organize this training workshop for journalists.”
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, said the purpose of the programme was, “to see how we can further build synergy between the media and medical practitioners.”
Garba described the programme as, “quite engaging and very successful,” adding that it dealt on issues of security, safety and welfare of journalists while covering and reporting COVID-19 pandemic.
Among those who presented lectures at the event include Dr. Sani Gwarzo who spoke on COVID-19 and Risk Communication, Dr. Ovuoraye John spoke on Safe Media Versus COVID-19, Dr. Iroanya spoke on What Is COVID-19, while Barr. Martha Okonofua spoke on Infection, Prevention, and Control.