UNICEF Comes up with Course for Health Scribes
With the world observing the World Immunization Week, Unicef has come up with an online Critical Appraisal Skills (CAS) course for health scribes at the entry and mid levels.
With the world observing the World Immunization Week, Unicef has come up with an online Critical Appraisal Skills (CAS) course for health scribes at the entry and mid levels. The course was conceptualized and designed in association with Thomson Reuters Foundation, Indian Institute of Mass Communication and Oxford University. The program aims at enhancing the capacities of health journos to generate factual and non-sensational reports. The World Immunization Week is being observed between April 24 and April 30, all over the world.
A number of studies clearly suggest that a well-researched news story, underpinned with an evidence-based approach can help mitigate any adverse perception about large-scale public health initiatives like the routine immunization programs and so on. An academic course like this also helps dispel myths and fears and ensures pro-active public participation. And eventually, such program becomes catalytic for the success of large-scale health initiatives. The course offers a specialized set of skills and competencies to the journalism students and enables them to research and analyze health-related information for credibility and relevance thereby improving the accuracy in reporting. The free online course is launched in the backdrop of UNICEF’s ‘Every Child, Alive’ campaign which focuses on reducing newborn mortality, ensuring that every child is alive and healthy in the days, weeks and months after birth.
Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF representative in India said that media is one of their key partners. This particular course will come as an opportunity for health journalists across the country to add a critical dimension of evidence in their reporting and support in disseminating credible messages on the value of vaccines and also on how immunization actually saves the lives of millions of girls and boys. Interestingly, there has been an increase of vaccination coverage by 9 percentage points over the last six years. And it contributes significantly towards child survival as well as sustainable development goals.