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MP Journalism varsity and UNICEF to roll out Critical Appraisal Skill programme in public health reporting

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Senior Correspondent

BHOPAL: Critical Appraisal Skills (CAS) programme for public health reporting will be rolled out in Madhya Pradesh jointly by the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Mass Communication and UNICEF. This was shared in an online meet organised as part of orientation on CAS by the univeristy and UNICEF on Saturday.

Prof KG Suresh, Vice Chancellor of the Makhanlal Chaturvedi University, who as the then Director General of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) was one of the pioneers for rolling this in India, shared his experiences of CAS and said that the university is happy to roll out the programme in MP in partnership with UNICEF.

He spoke about the need for evidence and its analysis for media reporting on health, which this programme will help. He further stressed on the importance of accuracy and objectivity when reporting on health and added that CAS will be able to help strengthen and the efforts of health reporting in the State. 

Dr Santosh Shukla, Additional Director, MP Department of Health and Family Welfare, thanked the media for all the support on health issues, and in particular immunization efforts of the department. He shared how with their support, the government has been able to spread right information to people.

He also spoke on the importance of reporting based on right and correct scientific information on vaccination, which helps in reaching out with the right message to communities.  

Sonia Sarkar, Communication Officer (Media), UNICEF India said that public health journalism CAS initiated in year 2014- 15 gains renewed importance as it helps fight misinformation, stigma and discrimination and stresses on using evidence in health reporting.    

Dr Vandana Bhatia, Health Specialist, UNICEF, Madhya Pradesh shared the progress of MP on indicators of newborn care, immunization and childhood illness, and the challenges that still need to overcome. 

Anil Gulati, Communication Specialist, UNICEF, Madhya Pradesh coordinated the meet and said that we will work with the University to help strengthen media efforts for health reporting in the state. Around 40 participants from academia, media and media institutions had joined the meet.