A medical expert, Dr Lola Mabogunje, has urged journalists to be tracking health indices in order to fast track improvement in the sector.
Mabogunje made the call on Wednesday in Kaduna at the African Conference on Development Journalism with the theme:’ Advancing Development Journalism Towards Attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
She said the health sector was a critical requirement to fast track the development of a nation, saying health was also a prerequisite to human capital development .
“Journalists are required to provide adequate information on emerging and contemporary issues in the health sector to facilitate appropriate action.
”The journalists’ role is centered on demand and supply; as watch dogs they are to enforce accountability and ensure that health polices and programmes are appropriately implemented.
“They are required to educate the public on the need for health insurance; the basic healthcare fund and attitudinal changes to adopt to improve their health status,” she said.
In his paper entitled,’Understanding the SDGs’, Ahmed Maiyaki, a media specialist, expressed the need to domesticate the SDGs to meet peculiar needs of various communities.
Maiyaki said journalists as watchdogs could promote relevant social discourse to accelerate development and the achievement of the SDGs before the 2030 target.
He expressed worry that quality health care delivery and education were not accessible at the grass roots.