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The role of communication in the health sector

Health is one of the top most priority of the people and the government especially when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world.
As nurses, doctors and hospital staff, communication plays a big role in delivering correct and factual information to the patients and to the public.

Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC) finds this important to improve the delivery of services to their patients. Selected nurses, doctors, health education and promotion officers and hospital staff underwent basic social media journalism training with the Philippine Information Agency 9 (PIA-9).

“This is our way to train our staff how to communicate and cater the needs of our patients,” said Dr. Shadrina Tahil, Head of Office for Institutional Strategy and Excellence, Public Affairs and Customers Care Unit and Public Health Unit of ZCMC.

The Professional Education, Training and Research department of ZCMC initiated the training that aims not only to create a pool of capable information officers, but also “social media warriors” who will help combat fake news, and to disseminate information to a wider audience.

"Information and communication is the key to create understanding with our audience and clients," Dir. Noemi Edaga, Regional Director of PIA-9 said. 

This course also aims to enable the information officers and communication team of ZCMC to become “social media journalists” by communicating ZCMC’s accomplishments, programs and services to the public in cognizance with their mandate.

The topics prepared are news writing, photo journalism, photo captioning, crisis and social media management during the two-day seminar workshop on August 18 to 19, bringing basic journalism closer to experts in the field of medicine will aid ZCMC in their continues effort to inform Zamboangueños as to the different services that ZCMC offers.

During the workshop, the participants are eager and dedicated to learn new knowledge and improve the system of communication in their office.

“I am a nurse by profession and I really don’t have any idea about news writing, so I am thankful that I got the chance to attend this training and to have new learning,” Sherryl Tado, one of the participants and nurse from ZCMC.

Media ethics was also emphasized during the training and discussions on the importance of being a responsible journalist and communicator were tackled. ZCMC was provided with tips that will help them handle their social media pages for better information dissemination.

This project is seen to strengthen government-public relations thru the sharing of timely, accurate and relevant information regarding ZCMC accomplishments, community relations initiatives and other notable programs and services through the initiative of PIA-9 Regional Director Noemi Edaga, ZCMC Medical Chief Dr. Afdal Kunting, a partnership was forged between PIA and ZCMC for this purpose. (RVC/MLE/GEZ/PIA9-Zamboanga City)

About the Author

Myra Cel Espinosa

Information Officer II

Region 9

Myra Espinosa is an Information Officer of the Philippine Information Agency Region IX.  She writes news and feature stories on issues concerning COVID-19 for the agency's website and social media platforms. She is currently the program host of Kapihan na Zamboanga Public Briefing, as well as a news contributor for PTV News. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration Major in Organization and Management from Western Mindanao State University.

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