LAHORE:State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mian Farrukh Habib has urged the universities and academia to play their role for creating awareness among people about COVID-19 and bring positive change in their behaviour to cope with the pandemic.
He was addressing a webinar “Health Literacy and Public Policy of Pakistan in COVID-19: Challenges in Communication, Action and Advocacy in Digital Age”. The webinar was organised by PU Department of Development Communication in collaboration with Department of Digital Media.
Federal Parliamentary Secretary National Health Services Dr Nosheen Hamid, PU VC Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhter, Pro VC Prof Dr Saleem Mazhar, Chairperson Department of Development Communication Dr Ayesha Ashfaq, Chairperson Department of Digital Media Dr Savera Shami, faculty members and students were attended the webinar. Addressing the webinar, Farrukh Habib said that it was really a difficult task to convince people to follow corona SOPs as our population had not accepted it. He said that the government through smart initiatives had controlled the spread of disease and its efforts had been hailed by international organisations. ‘Prime Minister Imran Khan had established the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to control this pandemic which made excellent decisions on the basis of data,’ he added.
Dr Nosheen Hamid said there was a need to change lifestyle. She said it was a big challenge to create awareness about a disease with correct information among the people. Therefore, she said, the role of media and digital media became much important to achieve this goal.
PU VC Prof Niaz Ahmed said that the government had played an active role to answer the challenge of COVID-19 with excellent strategies. He said the higher education sector in Pakistan had proved that it had the ability to solve any problems in the pandemic.
Dr Ayesha Ashfaq stressed the need to launch advocacy campaigns to guide and convince the people against any misinformation. Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Saleem Mazhar said that it was very hard to convince a person believing in wrong remedies or having false information about a disease. Dr Savera Shami said that there was a need to strengthen linkage between the government and the universities to cope with the pandemic.