Advocating health: Polish journalists visit WHO/Europe
“We always try to get information from the best sources,” explained Agnieszka Zamencka, a journalist from the Kwadryga publishing house, who organized a visit to WHO/Europe by over 80 Polish journalists from the Journalists for Health Association on 29 September 2014.
WHO experts gave presentations on issues including the Health 2020 policy framework, mental health, noncommunicable diseases and immunization to Polish journalists. The aim of the visit was to share knowledge on key public health issues, and explain how WHO/Europe supports countries in developing policy and taking action in these areas.
“There’s a big lack of knowledge among Polish people regarding health problems, how to deal with them and improve health, and the wider social situation, so journalists have an important job in sharing information so people can take the most appropriate action,” said Renata Krzyszkowska, a journalist at “Catholic Guide”, a weekly magazine.
The journalists explained how the visit gave them a clear understanding of issues such as mental ill health, which is often still considered shameful in Poland. Comparing Poland’s position to those of other countries and sharing examples of what can be done enable journalists to open up an issue for discussion and communicate to the public in the most appropriate way.
This year’s visit to Denmark is the 13th annual trip organized by the Journalists for Health Association in Poland, which brings together print, broadcast, web and social media journalists from across the country. Past destinations have included Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Ukraine.