Media urged to be diabetes advocates

Update: 12:20PM EDUCATION on media literacy is an important component of this fight against diabetes, Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and other health issues of national interest.

Media
Watch Group (MWG) project
officer Mereoni Raivalita said this in her presentation at a Diabetes Advocacy Workshop at the
Holiday Inn in Suva last week.

Ms
Raivalita said
the health of the mass media public was important and what they read, watch on
television or hear on radio was critical in shaping their mind-set.

“Citizens
must be educated on how to discern what’s good for them and what’s harmful to
them,” Ms Raivalita said.

The workshop which was attended by
representatives of various organisations and stakeholders in Fiji aims to map
out a strategy on how best Diabetes Fiji, the Ministry of Health, Media Houses,
Religious Institutions and relevant CSOs could address the growing rate of
diabetes in the country using social and traditional media.

Ms Raivalita said while the media was an
important tool in the fight against diabetes, it could also contribute
negatively to the health of people through the portrayal of unhealthy
lifestyles and the power of advertising.

She said while the media was an important
tool in the fight against diabetes, it could also contribute negatively to the
health of people through the portrayal of unhealthy lifestyles and the power of
advertising.

Ms
Ravalita said through MWG’s media monitoring, they had noticed that the media
often highlighted health issues during certain times of the year when awareness
is created, especially when there is an outbreak or when cost is associated
with a disease or sickness.

She said
the media had a responsibility to the nation on this issue and must play a
pro-active role at all times on diabetes, a disease that affects all sectors of
the population.

Ms
Ravalita said through MWG’s media monitoring, they had noticed that the media
often highlighted health issues during certain times of the year when awareness
is created, especially when there is an outbreak or when cost is associated
with a disease or sickness.

She said
the media had a responsibility to the nation on this issue and must play a
pro-active role at all times on diabetes, a disease that affects all sectors of
the population.

She said
television, like radio and newspapers could utilise the direct visual effect
they had on viewers with talk back shows and air documentaries on those living
with diabetes to capture their stories of hope, values and messages that can be
lessons for others in society.

“We have a
responsibility to live healthy lives for the sake of our younger generation and
our future. MWG stands ready to serve the public in educating them on the
importance of being responsible media users.”

MWG
will continue to reach out to citizens using its community networks and educate
them on the proper use of the media on living healthy lifestyles to avoid
diabetes.

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