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  • on 06.10.2014
  • at 04:00 PM
  • by Kevin Hind

African journalists offer to help cut Ebola deaths 0

Accra – African science journalists are imploring governments to involve them in reporting on the Ebola crisis to help prevent needless deaths caused by inadequate or incorrect information.

The Ebola virus highlights the “urgent need to close the gap between the scientists, journalists and communities”, said a 17 September statement signed by science journalism associations from more than ten African nations.

Members of the associations say governments should report information about disease outbreaks at an early stage to trained science journalists who can then publish accurate information on risks and treatments before misinformation can be disseminated.

“The Ebola outbreak in West Africa remains primarily a problem of education, and science journalists must be brought to this role of educators through the production of articles and quality radio programmes that can help control the disease,” Christophe Assogba, president of the Benin Association of Science Journalists and Communicators, tells SciDev.Net.



Governments should also use their influence over media outlets to discourage the broadcast and publication of grossly inaccurate information, says Diran Onifade, president of the African Federation of Science Journalists.

Of the 3,330 people who have now died from Ebola, most lived in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



None of these countries has a science journalists association through which funding and training could be funnelled to improve accurate reporting.

continue reading on SciDev.net

By Paula Park – SciDev.net

Photo credit: pri.org 

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