Journalists and Communicators drawn from seven regions of Cameroon have been trained on Nutrition reporting.
By Ekellem Desmond
The objective of the training that took place from Tuesday February 02 to Friday 05 was to provide journalist with tools to report on Nutrition.
The goal expected by J & A Oben Foundation with the organisers of the workshop in partnership with Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, is to empower journalist so that they can scale the fight against malnutrition.
According to Professor Julius Oben co-founder of the J&A Oben Foundation, empowering journalists and communicators in Nutrition is another approach to boost the fight against malnutrition.
Professor Oben added that poor nutritional communication and the lack of information seems to be the reason why malnutrition is prominent in the country.
“People are not aware about what they eat and how they should eat” Professor Oben noted.
This problem according to him should be addressed constantly.
As such the media men and women after the training are not only expected to sensitize the public on good nutritional practices like informing on what to and not to eat and how to eat, but also accompany the advocacy being carried out by the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement to influence decision makers to make the fight against malnutrition a top priority of Government’s action.
The duty of journalist in Cameroon according to the country representative of the Helen Keller Non Governmental Organisation, Dr. Ismael Tela, is to advocate for Government to officialize or adopt the national policy elaborated to fight against malnutrition, create a line for the fight against malnutrition in the state budget, convince decentralized authorities to include the fight against malnutrition in their action plan and finally accompany the ambassadors of nutrition in their work of advocacy.
With the theme: “Promoting wellness and nutrition visibility in Cameroon”, the journalists and communicators were schooled on topics like the basics of nutrition, the definition of terms, the collection and interpretation of nutrition data, infant and child feeding, the 1000 days of a child, fruits and vegetables, fish and meat, hygiene, diseases and nutrition, street foods and the Cameroonian, school vegetable gardens just to name but these.
These theoretical lessons was also accompanied by practical field trips where participants were put into groups and sent to observe case study and write a story or report.
At the end of the training workshop participants were awarded certificate.
They also became members of the Cameroonian branch of the journalist network of Scaling Up Nutrition known as JOSUN.
It should be recalled that the J&A,Oben Foundation is a Non Profit Organization that works actively in the fight against malnutrition (over nutrition) and promotes people’s wellbeing.
The Foundation provides high-quality, evidence-based technical assistance to national and regional organization and institutions working in the fields of agriculture, nutrition and social welfare.
The Foundation is made up of four departments; the Wellness Center whose task is to guide people towards a healthy lifestyle, the Cameroon Nutrition and Dietetics Research Center which focuses on evidence-based nutrition research aimed at improving the quality of human life, the Nutrition Incubator which works on a daily basis to improve the visibility of nutrition in Cameroon by using concrete facts and figures by supporting the seven nutrition ambassadors in their advocacy and finally the Professional Training Centre on Dietetics and Functional Food which trains future dieticians.