Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BAN), an NGO, has trained journalists virtually across the country on how to report tuberculosis (TB)-related diseases.
The training, which featured journalists from both print and electronic media, was done virtually using the zoom application in compliance with COVID-19 protocols to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking during the training on Friday, Dr Edor Joseph, Senior Programme Officer-two-tuberculosis with BAN, Abuja, said lots of people did not want to complain of having cough again due to fear of being suspected to have coronavirus.
Joseph explained that TB cough was different from that of COVID-19, adding “while TB cough is with sputum, that of COVID-19 is dry.’’
He said that the symptom for TB was low fever and its cough must be treated, while that of coronavirus was high fever and its cough could disappear even without treatment.
He said TB was still a threat to peoples’ live as over 157, 000 people died of TB complications in Nigeria in 2018 alone.
The programme officer, therefore, called on people, especially healthcare workers, to desist from stigmatising TB patients and prevent the spread of the scourge.
Similarly, Mr Eze Eze, Senior Programme Officer Media, BAN said the training was aimed at encouraging journalists to focus attention in reporting TB-related diseases.
He said if journalists focused attention in reporting tuberculosis, the public would be enlightened on how it would be contracted, how to avoid it and where to get treatment.
Eze said that the media was already doing a lot, adding that the training was aimed at supporting them to disseminate the correct information to the public.
He said that the correct information would dispel the increasing misinformation being peddled by non-professionals about the disease.
According to him, the training has exposed the participants to where and how to get information on TB and properly disseminate same to members of the public.
He called on the participants to pass on the lessons learnt to their colleagues who were not opportuned to be part of the session to improve the quality of their reports about TB henceforth.
FELLOW PRESS reports that the training featured paper presentations by resource persons on different topics as well as question and answer session.
FELLOW PRESS reports that participants during the session lamented about how they were often attacked for writing investigative stories that exposed some societal ills.
They, therefore, urged civil societies and NGOs to come to the aid of journalists while being victimised for doing their jobs.