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VOA Organizes Health Journalism Workshop on Drug Resistance


Journalists also explore the media's responsibility in covering health news

November 29, 2005, Abuja, Nigeria -- The Voice of America (VOA), which broadcasts in Hausa and English to listeners across Nigeria, has organized a workshop for Nigerian journalists to explore the issue of drug resistance and its impact on diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS.

The four-day workshop, which will be held from November 29 - December 2, 2005, will feature sessions by experts from the World Health Organization, the National Hospital, and Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control. Topics include “Why Drug Resistance is a Serious Health Problem in Nigeria” and the media’s responsibility in covering health news and developments.

The workshop, which is funded through a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development, precedes the 14th International Conference on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Africa.

VOA Director David S. Jackson said health is an important subject for VOA. “We welcome the opportunity to help VOA stringers – and reporters around the world – learn more about complicated health issues that affect so many lives,” Jackson said. “VOA’s mission is to provide unbiased news and information about a wide range of issues, and health is one of them.”

Also involved in the workshop are Nigerian media professionals, Abdulhamid Babatunde of Slim Jenkins Media Services and Akin Jimoh of Development Communications.

Last year, VOA opened a digital broadcasting facility in Kano that allows VOA’s Hausa Service to broadcast a weekly, health-oriented youth radio program, Karamin Sani (Little Knowledge is a Danger), from the largest city in northern Nigeria. The center is funded by USAID.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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