Government to support media efforts for awareness of pregnancy-related issues
ISLAMABAD: In a dramatic gesture, the federal government has announced to support media efforts to promote public awareness about steps that can save the thousands of women that die in Pakistan each year due to pregnancy-related complications.
“The state media, including television and radio, will be made available at the service of health and media development organisations that are working to promote awareness about all these preventable and unnecessary deaths,” State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sumsam Bukhari said here on Saturday.
He was speaking as the chief guest at the Third National Safe Motherhood Reporting Excellence Awards 2010 held at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts where he distributed gold and silver medals as well as cash prizes to winners of quality reporting on mothers and new-born healthcare.
Winners and participants from all over Pakistan attended the ceremony conducted by an NGO Intermedia and sponsored by the Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns (PAIMAN) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“We will not only air public service health messages aimed at educating public but also convene a national conference of TV channels to forge consensus on increasing the quality and quantity of coverage of health issues in general and mothers and newborn in particular,” the minister announced.
The minister’s forceful support came after a moving speech by Fayyaz Ahmed Khan, the Country Representative of John Hopkins University in Pakistan who shocked the hundreds of participants comprising journalists, educationists, doctors, nurses, students, soldiers, and ordinary citizens by revealing that every year 20,000 women die each year in Pakistan due to pregnancy related complications. While Fayyaz Ahmed Khan said that all these deaths are preventable. All that is required is professional birth attendants and access to basic healthcare to dramatically reduce the high mortality rate of mothers-to-be in Pakistan – this is better than only Afghanistan’s indicators in the whole of South Asia.
Intermedia Executive Director Adnan Rehmat said that the media in Pakistan is entering a second phase of reforms in which subject expertise and thematic focus on issues is building up in the sector. A special music video titled “Maa” was also screened on the occasion by PAIMAN. The minister handed out gold and silver medals as well as cash prizes and certificates to the winning journalists.
Source: Business Recorder