Communication Officers Get New Charge

By Sam Kpenu

A two-day capacity-building workshop organised by the Communication Unit of the Reproduction and Maternal Health Network (ReMCHAN), has ended with a call on media and communication professionals to use multiple platforms to build support for maternal and child-health care in Africa.

The Lead, Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health Network (ReMCHAN), Professor Friday Okonofua said that the workshop was facilitated by the Centre of Excellence in Public Health and Toxicological Research (ACE-PUTOR), University of Port Harcourt. Okonofua said that proper communication was needed to meaningfully impact the world through the use of contemporary communication even through social media. He said that the mass media and the effective management brands were needed to connect organisations and the public.

He said that “ReMCHAN had targeted seven African countries with a view to building capacity for ACE teams”.

Also speaking at the workshop, Dr Sylvia Mkandawire, who is the ACE IMPACT Project Manager, charged participants to maximize the opportunity offered by the training to effectively manage the activities of their respective organisations with the external public. She said that communication is a vital commodity for the success of any endeavour, stressing the need for a constant flow of information that would sustain patronage.

In his welcome address, the Centre Leader, Africa Centre of Excellence in Public Health and Toxicological Research, Professor Daprim Ogaji described communication as a veritable instrument for institutional growth, urging participants to make good use of
the training. He pointed out that it was by so doing that both internal and external publics would be better informed on the activities of their respective organisations.

Prof Ogaji said ACE-PUTOR is coordinating the communication component of the Reproductive and M a t e r n a l H e a l t h N e t w o r k (ReMCHAN) in ACE Network Centres and commended the Centre for facilitating the training by way of sponsorship. He pledged the readiness of the ACE-PUTOR to always partner the Centre in the training of communication officers. About 250 participants drawn from seven Anglophone and Francophone African countries participated via the ACE IMPACT Centres with Resource Persons drawn from the Academia and the Industry.

Topics treated at the workshop included: Imperatives for effective communication/project implementation, Effective communication strategies for a digital age, Integrated marketing communication and brand management, Digital communication and brand management, Written, photo, and video content management, Internal communication and media management, Website development, blogging, and social media Apps, News writing and how to produce Newsletters, Communication Scientific Research output and Brainstorming sessions on improving Centre and Network communication activities.

At the end of the workshop some participants called on Management to organise physical meeting for better interaction between participants and facilitators. Highlights of the training included presentation of certificate of participation to the trainees.


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