The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held three-day media workshop and first aid for Journalists in Lagos recently.

At the training, Journalists were among other things taught on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), humanitarian reporting and first aid training which included how to manage themselves and others injured causalities at sites in the course of their duty or elsewhere.

The ICRC Public Relations Officer, Aliyu Dawobe, said objective of the training is to relate with Journalists and to remind them much more on humanitarian reporting angles so that they would be able to report in a way that considers the humanitarian angle of the news.

“Also considering the fact that the media works in violence affected areas, we have trained them to be more prepared on how to provide first aid for themselves and people around them when something happens that has to do with blast or building collapse, so that they will be able to manage themselves and help communities close to them in terms of first aid.

“For Journalists that reports conflicts or violence, they are bound to have issues and may come across people who are injured and they may be injured themselves, we have trained them to be able to help themselves and those around them in terms of first aid.

“We have also trained them on humanitarian reporting, having realised that most of the times when reporting is done, focus is much more on the casualties, but we forget to think about people behind the scene, the people that are affected by the conflict.

“The media usually concentrate on the dead and the injured but we want them to also focus on the living who are passing through a lot of trauma and difficult period. We should be interested in knowing how they are coping with the loss of lives, and homes and how they are going to survive in terms of food. We are not teaching Journalists their job but we urge them to explore other angles to help people that are affected. This will also help institution, non-governmental organisations and other citizens to be of help to those alive from disaster happenings,” he added.

Head of Communication and Advocacy, The Nigerian Red Cross Society, Nwakpa Nwakpa, said the training was necessary because the Media defines the way people see things happens, hence the need to train them beyond reporting what happened to reporting the humanitarian need arising from what has happened.

“We are doing this to partner with the media to bring out the humanitarian need of those affected by any form of disaster, be it flood, building collapse or accident. We also realised that Journalists are also sometimes at the danger and they do not know what to do. With this training, if the Journalists see casualties in the course of their duty, they can render first aid beyond the reporting.”

He added that the humanitarian part of the news should be the most important part of news reporting, nothing that when this is not done, lives that should have been saved would be wasted because no one will be able to help them.

“Journalists should bring out the needs after every disaster, including what has been lost, what is needed, what they are going through. Bringing out these needs will move sympathetic people to come to their aid immediately. By this Journalists will not only report but will also help solve the problem of these people.

“We expect that this training would enable Journalists to bring succour to people through their reporting,” he said.

On his part, First Aid and Prehosp Care Field Officer, ICRC, Daniel EDOBOR, said the participants were trained on several aspects of first aid, including recovery position, difficult breathing, unconsciousness and full body examination.

They were also taught first aid on bleeding, burns, broken bones, fracture and causality transportation among others,” he said.