Press Release

Nigeria Health Watch announces #PreventEpidemicsNaija Journalism Awards 2021. Nominations are now open!

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25th November, Abuja – Nigeria Health Watch has announced the second edition of the #PreventEpidemicsNaija Journalism Awards ceremony to celebrate evidence-based and accurate reporting of epidemic preparedness in Nigeria is now open. Nominations close on Sunday, January 2, 2022, and winners will be announced at an award ceremony on January 28, 2022.

The #PreventEpidemicsNaija Journalism Awards honours journalists who have reported on all dimensions of epidemic preparedness in Nigeria in digital/print, audio and video formats. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need for accurate information and journalists were challenged in their work, keeping pace with the rapid transition of the pandemic while at the same time providing timely and quality editorial. The flow of misinformation in the midst of the global pandemic placed journalists in a vital role, requiring additional efforts to communicate clear and evidence-based editorial at the height of the global health crisis.

It is important that the vital role of the media is recognised and the aim of the #PreventEpidemicsNaija Journalism awards is to further elevate their role as the fourth estate, as they frame the issues of the day, providing a critical channel that defends the public interest, ensuring the public has access to information.

Vivianne Ihekweazu, Managing Director, Nigeria Health Watch, “Stories that report on epidemic preparedness and response in Nigeria are extremely crucial in ensuring that Nigerians are well informed on the current state of epidemics in the country”.

Ihekweazu further stated that “winning entries feature great storytelling that educates its audience, keeping them informed and empowering them to advocate for more sustained funding and support that would ensure that epidemic preparedness and our health security is a national priority”.

Beti Baiye, Programme Manager, Prevent Epidemics project said, “Media engagement is a core part of the prevent epidemics project. Since inception, our partnerships with journalists have helped drive our advocacy and we are delighted for this opportunity to recognise their good work and celebrate them.”

Speaking on what the judges will be looking out for, Baiye also added that “the judges will recognise work that highlights and scrutinises the critical aspects of any outbreak response: epidemic preparedness, surveillance and detection and critically sustained and stable funding. There is a need to improve policy maker awareness on infectious diseases and defines the role of citizens in demanding increased funding for epidemic preparedness in Nigeria”.

At the maiden award ceremony in December 2020, four journalists were awarded for their outstanding reporting and coverage on issues around the COVID-19 pandemic and in recognition of their exemplary work.

To be eligible for the 2021 awards, journalists across Nigeria are invited to send in work published or broadcast from January to November 2021. Published submissions from freelancers are also welcome.

Criteria for Nomination
Print and broadcast journalists are eligible for nomination if they have written an article or produced a radio or television programme that meets the following criteria:

  1. Length of submission
    a. Written in English – minimum 650 words published in a print or digital news platform
    b. Radio/TV show that is 15 minutes or longer
  2. Frequency
    a. Print and Digital: Must have written and published 2 or more articles on themes below.
    b. Radio and TV: Must have produced 2 or more shows on the themes below.

The nominated article, programme or production should capture the following themes and must have been published or aired between the period of January 1, 2021, to November 30, 2021:

  1. Communicate the many dimensions of epidemic preparedness in Nigeria
  2. Inform on the current state of epidemic preparedness in Nigeria, with a special focus on funding
  3. Highlight and scrutinize budgeting and funding for epidemic preparedness in Nigeria
  4. Improve community awareness on infectious diseases, empower citizens to demand more funding for epidemic preparedness and hold power to account.

Nomination Process
Awards nominations can be submitted online: here

Journalists, readers, media institutions or other interested individuals such as civil society and academia may submit nominations.

Each valid nomination must contain the name of the nominee, verifiable details of the published article(s) or programme(s), their media affiliation(s) and the contact information (email address and phone number) of the nominee.

Multiple submissions are encouraged

About Nigeria Health Watch
Nigeria Health Watch is a not-for-profit health communication and advocacy organisation that seeks to advocate for better healthcare for Nigerians, engaging and supporting the government to raise awareness, knowledge, and engagement on a wide range of health issues in Nigeria.

We aim to hold duty bearers accountable for delivering affordable and quality healthcare to Nigerians. The unique capacity of Nigeria Health Watch lies in its communication expertise which enables the organisation to provide solutions for evidence-based advocacy and communication in the health sector.

Learn more at
For more information about the #PreventEpidemicsNaija Journalism Awards please contact:

Contact person Nigeria Health Watch: Uche Nwagboso
Phone number: +234 814 137 6913

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