African countries lose $8.3bn from $575 million on US-GAG Rule

*Urges journalists to use information at their disposal to save humanity

Media consultant, Mr. Godwin Odemijie, yesterday explained that with the adoption of the GAG Rule by the US government, African countries will lose over $8.3billion in foreign-donor sponsored grant to African countries.

The fund which goes to both national agencies and Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) assists them provide services which help improve health services at the recipient countries.

According to him, placing restrictions on donor funded basket through the GAG Rule will impact negatively on the Third World countries as they never had enough finances to find their health challenges.

He said that aside being extremely innovative, the social, psychological, economic and political implications of going ahead with the GAG Rule is grave and called for an urgent review.

Odemijie was speaking during a training programme organised by Ipas for Copy and Health editors at the weekend, where he outlined the role of the media in reporting the GAG Rule.

He insisted that journalists must file stories that impact on the society by bringing up salient issues that will promote believability by injecting sound bites and actualities, which draws empathy and compassion on the listeners by telling compelling stories.

He also said the media must follow up on their stories to the logical end, if they are to make the desired impact.

Odemijie also tasked the media to always “follow the budgeted monies” to ensure that budgets are fully implemented and to bring infractions to the fore with facts and evidences.

He relayed stories of lapses in public health practices and advised journalists to out in their best to investigate why the nation’s health systems have continually failed to provide satisfactory services which our political leaders could rely upon for their medication and that of their families.

He enjoined journalists to analytically deploy the data made available to them to make better meaning to their audiences.

The media expert drew attention to the rising rape cases across the globe, particularly in Nigeria, stressing that we must also impart practical and credible reporting knowledge to reporters under them.

He said that from series of reported rape incidences that occurred during the covid-19 lockdown, pointing out that the society has a long way to go, while the media should intensify their role in transforming the society to safer abode, while at the same time keeping security operatives on their toes.

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