The role of mass media communication in promoting public health cannot be over estimated. In fact, Mass media efforts to promote and improve public health can and have achieved quiet a number of things including: Increase in awareness of health challenges and problems; raise the level of knowledge on issues or topics related to health; make health topics or challenges more salient, thus sensitizing the public and policy makers; stimulating interpersonal influence by initiating conversation among family, friends, doctors and other health experts; reinforcement of existing attitudes and behaviours; and generate some levels of self-initiated information/ knowledge seeking.
Effective involvement of the media in matters tobacco control and public health is crucial in order to achieve the intended policy objectives. As aforementioned, the media plays a vital role in public education and awareness creation, as well as sensitization of the publics and policy makers. In this realization KETCA convened a Media round-table to deliberate on how the media can be effectively involved in articulating tobacco control related matters.
The media round table that took place at Sarova Panafric Hotel brought together journalists and reporters drawn from different interests including health, business, development, agriculture, sports and policy. This composition brought about the diversity of approaches in which tobacco control can and should be looked at aside from the common perception that tobacco control is only about health promotion.