Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah has called on Liberian Journalists to be investigative and proactive with their respective reportage, especially when it comes to reporting on the Country’s health sector. “When reporting on health activities in our country, please make sure both sides of the story are balanced before reporting”, Dr. Jallah told scores of Journalists at a day long media training organized by the Liberia Media Initiative, recently.
As inaccurate beliefs pose a threat to any health sector and fake news represents a particularly egregious and direct avenue through which inaccurate beliefs have been propagated via some media outlets in the country, she believed reporting on the sector should always do their facts checking in order to avoid spewing out misinformation to the general public.
“Whenever you are reporting on activities of the Country’s health system, please make sure you get both sides of the story before reporting. Persistence of misinformation is not good for our health sector because when audience generates reasons in supporting the initial information, it would lead to them taking the wrong decision. So, let’s do our fact checking”, she averred.
The factors underlying effective messages to counter beliefs are based on misinformation. Reporting on the Country’s health sector, which is one of the major components of the country’s governance system, journalists reporting from here should do their facts checking before spewing it out to the general public, because misinformation about the sector can lead to poor decisions about consequential matters and is persistent and difficult to correct.
In lieu of the supra, the energetic Health Minister used the occasion to encouraged journalists to always reach out to individuals responsible when seeking information about the Ministry. “We want to encourage you to reach out to the Ministry anytime you want information. Our doors are opened; anytime you call us we will answer, including our counties health team offices, please contact them also for those information you need for the betterment of our country.
Meanwhile, providing clarity on the AstraZeneca COVAX Vaccines, Dr. Jallah disclosed that the vaccines received by Liberia were produced in India instead of Oxford. The COVAX is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the World Health Organization (WHO). It is one of the three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, the initiative begun in April 2020 by the WHO, the European Commission, and the government of France as a respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.