National alliance of TV channels on cards
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.
Speaking as the chief guest at the Third National Safe Motherhood Reporting Excellence Awards 2010 held at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts Sumsam Bukhari said that both the print and electronic media have a duty to serve the country by uniting on issues that can help save precious lives and improve health of the citizens and Winners and participants from all over the country attended the ceremony conducted by Inter-media, a Pakistani media support organisation focusing on advocacy, research and training on media issues and sponsored by the Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns (PAIMAN) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The minister said that the ministry of Information and Broadcasting would support efforts by PAIMAN and Inter-media on building a media partnership on health of TV channels in Pakistan.
“We will not only air public service health messages aimed at educating the 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.
Fayyaz Ahmed Khan, the Country Representative of John Hopkins University in Pakistan in his speech said that every year 20,000 women die each year in Pakistan due to pregnancy related complications.
“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,” Fayyaz Ahmed Khan commented.
He said that PAIMAN is working in 24 under-developed districts of Pakistan and for the past six years has managed to provide assistance to hundreds of thousands of mothers and children to save their lives and to change the ratio of one child in every 11 children dying before their fifth birthday. Inter-media Executive Director Adnan Rehmat said Â“Health is an everyday issue that affects every citizen and every home.
The media can catalyse efforts by the health sector stakeholders that can help improve indicators,” he said.
“If 60 of Pakistan’s FM stations can form the Radio Partnership for Peace to promote harmony at the community level across the country, the TV channels can likewise form a Television Partnership for Health to promote healthcare for mothers and children and save the tens of thousands of mothers and children who die unnecessary deaths every year,” he said.
A special music video titled “Maa” was also screened on the occasion by PAIMAN sung by upcoming artist Wajih Akhtar and produced by ace director Zeeshan Perwez.
State Minister conferred on gold and silver medals as well as cash prizes and certificates to winning journalists. In the regional languages print media category, Sabir Bhand of Daily Sukkur won the gold and Naseer Bhand Daily Tameer-e-Sindh secured the silver medal.
In the national print media category Muhammad Atif Sheikh of Daily Zamana got the gold and Razia Baloch of Daily Murad won the silver medal.
In the regional language electronic media category Ijaz Tareen from Multan of NewsOne channel won the gold and Syed Muhammad Ibrahim from Peshawar of Express News won the silver medal. In the national electronic media category, Wadood Jan from Peshawar of Khyber News TV won the gold and Kamran Sheikh from Sukkur of Sindh News TV was awarded with silver medal.
A large number of participants comprising journalists, educationists, doctors, nurses, students, soldiers, and citizens attended the ceremony.
Source: The Nation