…Launches Media in Health Care Accountability Project (MeHCA-P)
By James Ezema
A six-month Media-in-Health-Care-Accountability Project (MeHCA-P) through which the International Press Centre (IPC) hopes to facilitate the emergence of a corps of next generation investigative health reporters is commencing this December.
The project seeks to enhance the capacity of the media and younger generation journalists to serve as effective catalysts of fundamental health care reforms as well as monitor government response and utilization of funds allocated to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and other health emergencies.
The project, The Street Reporters Newspaper gathered, is supported by the US Consulate-General, Lagos-Nigeria.
Speaking on the development, the Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said, “It is all about upping the ante of the constitutional obligation imposed on the media to monitor governance and hold government accountable to the people; and it is in that context that the project will seek to assist journalists to ensure health care sector accountability and service delivery because of the failures that COVID-19 have laid bare”.
According to the IPC, the project will start with a one-month baseline assessment exercise of current trends in media reporting of health care issues, the outcome of which shall be used to design the capacity building programs to be organized in the later part of the project.
The outcomes will also be used to engage with media managers on the need to improve health sector reporting, the Nigeria’s foremost media capacity development organization disclosed in a statement.
The capacity building program shall target young and mid-career journalists from the print, online and broadcast media outlets in the three geopolitical zones of South West, South South and South East.
The participants will be journalists who are committed to reporting issues of governance, accountability and transparency in the health sector and are willing to help provide solutions to identified problems.
The selection of the Journalists shall therefore be competitive and there will be a call for expression of interest on IPC’s website (www.ipcng.org) and the organization’s social media platforms.
Mr. Arogundade said that this is the first phase of MeHCA-P and expresses the hope that other development partners and donors would partner with IPC on the project so it could benefit many more journalists across the country.
“We hope we would have the funding support to produce the next generation health care investigative reporters in each local government, each state and each geo-political zone of Nigeria”, Mr Arogundade added.