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Importance of media and its role in Covid management discussed

Participants of the workshop

Dimapur based media persons with resource persons and organizers attended the one day workshop ‘VARTALAP’ on Monday at Hotel Saramati, Dimapur.

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

Press Information Bureau, Kohima, under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, on Monday organized one-day media “Vartalap” workshop at Saramati hotel, Dimapur, on the theme “Improving Information Dissemination In Nagaland”.
Special guest, Dr Nyanthung Kikon, State Nodal Officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programe (IDSP), Health & Family Welfare, Kohima, while highlighting the importance of media and its role in Covid management and vaccination in the state was due to the “growing distrust” amongst the people leading to Covid vaccine hesitancy thereby creating a “wall” between the public and government agencies.
Sharing his thought on the Covid management and vaccination, Dr Kikon said that the news of the first Covid positive case detected in the state on April 20, 2020, from Dimapur shook the state machinery as the pandemic was new to everyone.
Dr Kikon however said that the dissemination of information by the media in Nagaland was “very mature and responsible”.
During the interaction session, Dr Kikon on the low Covid test rates in Nagaland said that it was due to the people’s unwillingness for covid testing and added that in the second wave, five to eight people were traced, but in the third wave, contact tracing was done for those who were symptomatic and at high risk.
He also went on to add that it was statistically proven that people who received both doses of vaccines were less likely to get hospitalized and less than 1% of such people had contributed to the mortality figures.
Further, Dr Kikon disclosed that in the first wave, 84 people had died, in the second 633, and while in the third wave, it was 32.
Stating that that even the government has its shortcomings in regard to the dissemination of information on schemes and most of it has not been able to reach targeted beneficiaries in the desired manner, Dr Kikon was of the view that a lot of work needs to be done with regard to the flow of information, especially between various governmental agencies and media while also supplementing that it was also the responsibility of various government agencies to be transparent in its layout of various schemes to the public.
Later, he said that the flow of information must not be “one way” but an “open-ended” flow of information between government agencies and the media, and expressed that if they partner in a more transparent manner, then it would surely reach the target audience and beneficiaries of the schemes.
DPRO, Dimapur, Lolano Patton, who was one of the resource persons, addressed the gathering on the topic “Improving information flow from implementing agencies of government welfare schemes to DIPR, independent media & public”.
She stressed on the importance of effective, integrated and coordinated communication between the implementing agencies and the different media houses in educating the people on the various government welfare schemes being implemented in the State, so that the targeted beneficiaries avail the benefits meant for them.
Assistant Manager, Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA), Khrolou Koza Lohe, spoke on “NSDMAs role in prevention and responding to disaster in Nagaland”.
Efficient and effective response to the disaster specially in the rural areas were discussed and easy access of information from the NSDMA officials in the event of disaster were also deliberated.
In the technical session, the moderator was assistant director, PIB Kohima, K Sonikumar Singh.
After all the speakers had presented their topics, an interaction session was held where questions were raised by the participants.
Earlier on February 26, similar workshop was organized at Eastgate Hotel, Kohima, by Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Kohima, on the same theme.


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