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Need of spreading correct information on health issues stressed at journalism varsity meet

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Senior Correspondent

A media meet on the theme of newborn care under the initiative to increase evidence-based reporting in the public health domain was held on Tuesday at the Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, Bhopal.

Around 75 health journalists from Bhopal attended physically while others from Khandwa, Rewa and Noida campus of the University participated online in the meet organized by the university jointly with the Madhya Pradesh office of UNICEF.

Speaking at the meet, former Vice Chancellor of Kushabhau Thakre Journalism University, Dr Mansingh Parmar said that objective of journalism should be 'Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah' (happiness for all). This can materialise only when awareness is created. Journalism should always have feeling of public welfare, Dr Parmar said and appreciated media’s role in Covid-19 period for preventing misinformation.

Keynote speaker, senior journalist Girish Upadhyay spoke at length on the occasion. He underlined the need for evidence based journalism. He said that it is important that media gets information in time and openly so that the correct information can reach people through media. 

Vice Chancellor of Makhanlal University, Prof KG Suresh said that universities have social responsibility and this workshop is part of it. Health reporting is a serious issue and there is no place for misinformation and incorrect information in it because it directly affects common man. Today, it seems ‘infodemic’ is more dangerous to pandemic because identifying correct information has become difficult now. 

Deputy Director, Child Health, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Dr Manish Singh made presentation on new born care, the challenges being faced and efforts of the state to reduce child mortality. He also spoke that how delay at family level in seeking support from health facility, affects.

This is one of the main reasons for child deaths and increased awareness can help in addressing the challenge of infant and child mortality in Madhya Pradesh, he said. Dr Vandana Bhatia, Health Specialist, UNICEF, said that media can help by creating awareness of government schemes and facilities for different levels of care, for early identification and age appropriate referrals for new born babies and children.

Anil Gulati, UNICEF Communication Specialist said it is important that we take these efforts of evidence based reporting to district level. Coordinator LB Ojha shed light on the objectives of the workshop. Assistant Professor Dr Arun Khobarey conducted the programme and Registrar Dr Avinash Bajpai proposed the vote of thanks.