MamaYe recently organised media training sessions for journalists in Bonthe and Koinadugu districts.
The media engagement aimed at empowering journalists in the two districts to understand and report on maternal and newborn health (MNH) issues.
A similar media engagement was conducted for journalists in Freetown in June.
We believe that the role of the media in promoting MNH issues is pivotal to saving the lives of mothers and babies.
The media helps to inform stakeholders of their roles and responsibilities; citizens have a right to good health and the government has a responsibility to ensure this.
The media engagement was organised by MamaYe in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists and held between the 17-21 July.
The engagement targeted 20 journalists, 10 from each district cut across print and electronic media, four civil society organisation representatives, two from each district, and representatives from the District Health Management Team.
MamaYe team used the media engagement to update the media on the status of maternal and newborn health issues in Sierra Leone, strengthen media practitioners’ understanding of budget advocacy reporting, and equip them with the information and techniques required to improve communication on MNH.
We also connected media practitioners in the regions to those in the city through the MamaYe WhatsApp Media Working Group on MNH. Journalists in the provinces now use the MamaYe WhatsApp group to share their stories.
During the media engagement, our team members gave presentations on the National Health Accounts 2013 and the MamaYe campaign, and a talk on 'Media Agenda Setting on Maternal Health Reporting' was delivered by the seasoned journalist Thomas Dixson, Editor of Salone Times Newspaper.
The MamaYe website was also introduced to the media and the MamaYe Maternal and Newborn Health Factsheet was shared.
I can safely say that the media engagement was a big success. The media and district civil society organisations have been properly briefed and provided with the information, materials and evidence to empower them as champions who can defend the cause of women and children within their respective media outlets and communities.