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Capacity Building Workshop on The Use of Social Media for Knowledge Translation

The Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) in collaboration with funding partners, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO) organised a 2 – day capacity building workshop on the use of Social Media for knowledge translation from 26th -27th July, 2018. The capacity building workshop was held at the Dr Natalia Kanem auditorium, Women’s Health and Action Research Centre, Benin City with the following objectives:

  • Build the capacity of critical stakeholders, knowledge translation committee members, members of Ward Development Committees (WDC) and WHARC/project staff on development of messaging and use of the social media for the Knowledge Transfer (KT) component of the Increasing access to skilled pregnancy care in rural area project;
  • Increase the skills of the participants on use of various social media platforms and ensure their systematic and effective use of these platforms for transferring critical knowledge and information on project outcomes; and
  • Share information on use of KT and social media platform by other IMCHA projects and seek partnerships for collaborative reporting of the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa(IMCHA) projects across the West and East African regions.


The Executive Director of WHARC, Dr Wilson Imongan opened the program by saying that WHARC is a knowledge reservoir. He emphasized on the need for use of social media to disseminate information to the general public. Watch Videos

Dr. Ermel Johnson representing the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) in his good will message said WAHO supported the workshop so that multi-stakeholders capacity can be built to use social media to share innovations and research findings for improving maternal and child health outcomes in Nigeria and Africa.

The Program Advisor and project principal investigator, Professor F.E. Okonofua presented an overview of the project and progress report of the International Development Research Centre, Canada funded project aimed at increasing access of women to skilled pregnancy care in rural area. He identified the barriers rural women encounter in utilizing Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) as; lack of adequate skilled maternal healthcare personnel and manpower, lack of drugs in the PHCs, high service charge, poor attitude of healthcare providers towards clients, poverty and long distances of the PHCs. He went further to mention the interventions that have been formulated for the Project and put in place, which include:

  • Advocacy visit to key stakeholders for more skilled workers and manpower and increase funding allocation to PHCs.
  • Intervention of Rapid SMS to reduce delay and increase access to PHCs via mobile cell technology.
  • Introduction of community based Health Insurance Scheme which makes PHCs services affordable.
  • A Transport System involving a motor bike and taxi network which helps convey pregnant women in distress and during emergencies to PHCs and referral hospitals in the two intervening communities (Okpekpe and Ewatto).
  • A Drug Revolving Fund to ensure continuous supply, availability and affordability of drugs in the PHCs.
  • Supply of maternal healthcare deliverables: The PHCs were equipped with beddings, essential drugs and mama kits (a handy kit containing essential materials for delivering babies).

He stated that the commitment towards the project from key stakeholders; traditional rulers, chiefs, primary healthcare providers and the government is high and the implementation project has a very promising success rate.

 On Knowledge Translation: An Overview and its relevance in implementation research. The lecture was delivered by Mr. Ebenezer Olajuyigbe, ICT director, University of Medical sciences, Ondo State. He defined knowledge translation (KT) as moving research from the laboratory, academics journals and conferences into the hands of the people and organizations for practical use.  He emphasized the importance of KT as it helps in reporting research findings as well as disseminate and implement effective policies, practice and program. He stated that KT is a model for linking research into action.

He advised that research findings are not just for dissemination and diffusion but most effective when research users are engaged early in the process and strongly dependent on the context, types, stage and expected findings to targeted audience.

Presenting on Social Media and its use for social change – Crafting the messages, Mr Olajuyigbe defined social change as an alteration in the social order of the society. He also defined social media as an umbrella term for web/mobile technologies that empowers us to create, share, learn, connect, interact and collaborate with people on interest. He listed prominent examples of social media as facebook, twitter, instagram, you tube, google+, Flickr, Linkedin, pinterest and whatsApp. He noted that any social media platform can be employed to communicate findings effectively to targeted audience; also that social media analyses and content calendar are required to determine the audience, social media type, content format for effective and strategic communication and engagement with targeted audience.

He highlighted the criticisms on social media on users Privacy, Confidentiality, Authority and Quality, Information Overload and Time Consuming but its advantages of wider audience, cost saving, real time information sharing and ability to measure ones success is most important.

On Writing Policy Briefs and Fact sheets delivered by Professor Friday Okonofua.  He defined policy brief as a short document that present findings and recommendation of a research project to a non-specialised audience while factsheets are a one page document that provides basic information on a specific issue in an easy quick to remember format. He also identified research communication barriers as

  • The use of jargon which does not correspond to policy environment
  • Scientific research not relevant to policy
  • Lack of dissemination of research findings
  • Low scientific understanding by policymakers

However, he described the features of a policy brief as a stand –alone document on a single topic/issue and a short write up usually not more than 1500 words. He also stated that it should focus on a single topic, define your purpose, identify salient points that support the objectives of the policy brief, distill the points, and be brief or specific. For an effective policy brief, he said that the 4 Cs must be put into consideration which includes Comprehension, Connection, Credibility and Contagiousness. He emphasised that policy brief is better written with evidence and credible information with an executive summary, introduction, approach, implication, recommendation as well as a conclusion statement.

Dr. Nafissatou Diop commented that in writing a good policy brief, focus demands sacrifice.

Mr. Solomon Ojigbo on Developing a media briefs and infographics defined media briefs as powerful tools for communicating research findings to policy actors (healthcare practitioners, administrators, policy makers) as well as the general public.  He emphasized that an effective media brief must meet the following criteria: target specific, limited to a particular problem, professional, evidence based, concise, understandable, accessible, promotional and attractive as well as practical and feasible. Similarly, he defined infographics as visual representations of information or data intended to present information quickly and clearly. He also mentioned the tools for making infographs some of which include Visme,,, infogram, PowerPoint among others.  He said that infographs makes reading enjoyable.

Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram as medium of research communication was also presented by Mr Solomon. Medium of research communication He mentioned that social networks has become a life style to millions of people which makes it possible for research findings to reach more people and target one’s audience with its’s high speed of information dissemination. He identified Facebook and  Instagram as a social networking services that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters and share across other social media while Twitter and LinkedIn as a professional social media, a goldmine to find professional of similar interest to collaborate with in research projects. He concluded his lecture by emphasizing that visibility of contents can be increased through promotions of targeted adverts on the aforementioned platforms.

A review and feedback from stakeholders WHARC websites was taken by Mr. Stephen Oriakhi WHARC ICT Officer.

He introduced his lecture with the history of web wide web invented in 1989 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.  He also mentioned the WHARC websites as, an arm of WHARC involved in reproductive health publications while the is used for project and other activities. Articles download from the website in the month of May 2018 alone amounted to 7,530 from about 130 countries VIEW ARTICLE VIEWS AND DOWNLOAD STATISTICS.

He gave a statistical report on the activities of the website as it has increased tremendously in the last few months from 3,331 to 7,583 viewers.  He added that the organization has not gotten to her peak and more would be done.  He encouraged participants to always visit the organization website for latest news and more information.  Thereafter, the speaker took the participants through a practical demonstration session on the use of WHARC websites and social media platforms.

Dr Ermel Johnson delivered an engaging lecture on Elements of Research Dissemination: Using twitter for research dissemination. He defined twitter as an online microblogging service that allows its users to post short messages on personalized profile. It is accessed for free in 34 languages and available on mobile devices. He compared twitter and Facebook and thereafter use a video demonstration to engaged participants on opening a twitter account and a practical session on how to tweet. 

Representative from Edo State Ministry of Health, Mrs Sarah Ojo Edokpayi while giving her goodwill message at the  expressed her delight to be at the workshop and lauded WHARC for her resilient effort in reducing maternal and child death in Edo State. She stated that the training will go a long way in achieving the Edo State Ministry of Health’s priority in improving the health indices in the State.

Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency was represented by Miss Cynthia Adesieye who expressed her delight in WHARC’s commitment to reducing maternal and child death in Edo State also mentioned that knowledge without application is a waste and also that the workshop was timely and its knowledge will be used for engaging key stakeholders in the health sector towards improving maternal and child health in the State. 









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Our Board of Trustees

  • Prof. Agatha Eguavoen /Chairman/

    Professor Agatha Nonyem Taiwo Eguavoen attended the University of Ibadan where she obtained her First, Second and Third degrees in Sociology with specialization in Criminology and Gender studies.
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  • Prof. Friday Okonofua

    Professor Friday Okonofua is the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the University of Medical Sciences in Ondo State of Nigeria. He graduated MB ChB from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 1978 and has PhD (Public Health) from the Karolinska University in Sweden.
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  • Dr. Wilson Imongan

    Wilson Imongan, medical practitioner, graduated with MBBS from the University of Ibadan and had additional training in Dermatology from the University of Wales, Cardiff, UK where he obtained a post graduate diploma in Dermatological Sciences.
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  • Prof. Bridget Ogonor

    Professor (Mrs.) Bridget Ogheneakpobo Ogonor has B.Sc. (Sociology) University of Lagos in 1978. In 1983. 1990 and 1997, she bagged the following degrees; PGDE, M.Ed (Educational Administration) and Ph.D (Educational Administration) respectively from the University of Benin.
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  • Prof. Cyril Mokweyen

    Professor Cyril Obiajulu MOKWENYE is a Professor Francophone Caribbean and African Literatures at the University of Benin, Nigeria. He was educated at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and the University of Bordeaux, in France.
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  • Lady (Mrs.) Marcelina A

    Chief Lady Mrs. Marcellina Aisuebeogun is a retired Chief Health Sister/Chief Nursing Officer and a Health Educator for several years.
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  • Engineer. Ibude Guobadia

    Engineer. Ibude Guobadia is a Management Consultant and Engineer. He obtained a B.Sc. (Hons) Electrical engineering from the University of Lagos, Lagos in 1984 and a master in Business Administration (MBA) in 1990 from the University of Benin, Benin City.
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