New Delhi : In an effort to improve the media's reporting on immunization and spread awareness, Unicef and the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) have launched a drive to educate grassroots level media professionals on the subject.
In a statement Friday, Unicef said: "Under the partnership with Unicef, IGNOU will provide its robust video-conferencing facilities to reach out to national, state and district media in strategic and interactive workshops on routine immunization."
The initiative was inaugurated simultaneously in Delhi, Bhopal and Jabalpur using the video-conferencing studios of IGNOU, it added.
In addition, there will be media workshops from June 2011 to February 2012, aiming at building a core network of media reporting on routine immunization. These will culminate in a national level congregation.
"In partnership with Unicef, IGNOU is committed to creating awareness among journalists so they can encourage and inform the public on important issues such as immunization and other developmental priorities," V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, vice chancellor of IGNOU said.
A survey published by Unicef in 2009 stated that the single biggest reason behind India's low immunization coverage is that mothers do not feel the need to immunize their children (28.2 per cent), followed by a lack of knowledge about vaccines (26.3 per cent).