Somaliland Civil Society Network puts media at the forefront of nutrition reporting in first capacity building workshop
10 September, 2019

Somaliland Civil Society Network puts media at the forefront of nutrition reporting in first capacity building workshop

In order to put nutrition higher on the public and political agenda, SLCSN-SUN made media awareness and capacity building one of its main priorities.

BY / 4 months ago

In order to put nutrition higher on the public and political agenda, SLCSN-SUN made media awareness and capacity building one of its main priorities.

Somaliland’s media has been given a much-needed boost in terms of its interest in and awareness of nutrition issues affecting the country, following a two-day workshop organised by Somaliland Civil Society Network for Scaling-Up Nutrition (SLCSN-SUN)

SLCSN-SUN’s efforts to raise media awareness were inspired by global social impact activities carried out by SUN Movement.

Somaliland is a country with a high burden of malnutrition … SLCSN-SUN recognised how important media communications are to reaching communities to address the underlying causes of undernutrition and at the same time to influence decision makers.

In order to put nutrition higher on the public and political agenda, SLCSN-SUN made media awareness and capacity building one of its main priorities. SLCSN had previously developed communications materials specifically for the media – but found they were not understood or used properly. Lack of understanding among media professionals of nutrition issues and awareness of the scale of malnutrition meant there was little coverage in the country’s media.

Strengthening capacity on nutrition

SLCSN-SUN’s Capacity Building Workshop on Nutrition Reporting aimed to strengthen the capacities of media professionals (journalists and editors), including public relations and communications experts working in government, to ensure they understand and accurately report on nutrition-related stories – and to push nutrition higher up the news agenda.

SLCSN-SUN, in partnership with the Ministry of Information and National Guidance, organised a two-day training session on nutrition in Hargeisa in September 2019. The main purpose was to improve participants’ knowledge on nutrition issues, in particular around child and maternal nutrition.

Journalists from a range of media houses took part, as well as public relations and communications professionals working in government. There were representatives from leading media firms as well as associations such as Somaliland Journalism Association (SOLJA)  and communications staff from the line ministries..

The first day of the training included: a brief update on Somaliland SUN and SLCSN-SUN; the basics of food and nutrition and why nutrition matters; and an overview of malnutrition in Somaliland. Other presentations focused on the role of media in moving the nutrition agenda forward and, nutrition advocacy. This was facilitated by Guled Kayse, Director of GNCC (Guled Nutrition Consulting Centre).

On day two, participants were briefed on the elements of journalism and the importance of good nutrition reporting, facilitated by Somaliland media pundit Hussein  Ali Noor. The final session covered by Lawyer Amal Osman LLB LLM, mainly consisted of bringing awareness to the existing International Code of Breastmilk. Plans for media Innovation Plan for effective nutrition reporting wa announced. The workshop ended with participants working together as part of the civil society to develop an action plan and agree the way forward. The training increased participants’ understanding of issues of nutrition and malnutrition, and helped them to see how to frame the issue for media coverage. It also successfully identified and communicated the role of the public relations and communications experts in the SUN. As an action point, the experts agreed to follow the Innovation Plan for Nutrition Visibility and Awareness and include nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive communication activities in their monthly and annual sectoral work plan and reports. The Innovation Plan will also contribute towards motivating the media, public relations and communication experts to give attention to nutrition reporting and to ensure it features higher up the national media agenda.

 

Closing Remarks

Dr. Hergeye, Ministry of Health Development

The direct general of the MoHD stated that malnutrition is the fourth leading cause of child mortatility. Therefore massive awareness should be raised and community should be informed about malnutrition. Furthermore, women should be educated about foods that can be ventured nutrients that one needs.

Khadar,  Executive Director of ANPPCAN-SOM and Chairperson of SLCSN-SUN

This workshop is intended to increase the nutritional status of children in Somaliland. Our ultimate expectation is to sustain the health and nutritional status of the children in Somaliland to attain full health physically and mentally. The ministry of Health of Development strives to enhance the nutritional status and reduce malnutrition among the community in Somaliland. Additionally, continuation of the trainings like this is essential.

Zakaria, Somaliland Scaling-Up Nutrition Focal Point, SUN Champion Office (Vice Presidents’ Office)

Detailed the history and trends of scaling up nutrition (SuN) from global prospective to national prospective and in xxx Somaliland joined this movement and was the 17th country joined this movement. Currently, the government network and the civil society network are the only functioning while the rest networks will be active soon. The collaboration among these stakeholders will be encouraged and continued.

Mohamoud Aden, SOLJA

The prevalence of malnutrition remains very high in Somaliland, thus media should release information on malnutrition. The media currently give much importance to politics rather than malnutrition and nutrition related information.

H.E. Mohamed Muse Diriye, Minister of Information and National Guidance

The cycle of malnutrition begins from the mothers. This in turn, leads children to less resistant to various disease. Therefrom, the media should take their role on informing the general public malnutrition by inviting the scholars and experts on nutrition.

 

The workshop was facilitated by members of the SLCSN-SUN(ANNPCAN-SOM & TASCO).

 

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