Nigeria Health Watch recently held the second edition of the #PreventEpidemicsNaija Journalism Awards, an annual ceremony that celebrates TV, radio, and print journalists whose reporting on epidemic preparedness and response has been exemplary in drawing public and policy makers attention to the need to fund activities to prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of accurate and timely reportage on outbreaks, epidemics and other issues of public health importance, and the key role journalists play in keeping the public informed and policy/decision makers accountable. The media also plays a very important role in combating misinformation and boosting adherence to public health measures, by communicating clear and evidence-based editorial.
This year’s winners, out of a total of 110 entries, excellently and consistently exemplified this, reporting on the need to boost local vaccine manufacturing to prepare for the next pandemic (print), contiguously build systems that can respond timely to local outbreaks (TV), and fund epidemic preparedness and response activities at national and subnational levels (radio). They kept pace with the rapid transition of the pandemic while providing timely and quality editorial.
- Print/ Online News Category – Abdulqudus Ogundapo – The Nation for his story titled “How poor funding, low technology hinders local COVID-19 vaccine production”
- Television Programme Category – Ezedimbu Karen Ogom – AIT, titled “Nigeria’s Cholera Nightmare”
- Radio Category – Kimberly Nwachukwu – Nigeria Info, for exemplary reporting of COVID-19 and Epidemic Preparedness
- Media House category – ARISE Television, for exemplary reporting of COVID-19 and Epidemic Preparedness.
Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, Director General, Nigeria Center for Disease Control, stated in his keynote speech the important role of the media in health security COVID-19 and beyond that media is key raising awareness in epidemic preparedness by disseminating information to the public”.
Adetifia also emphasized that the media holds everyone accountable to advocate for the government to invest in health security and protect the health of citizens in the country which has helped in increased funding both at the federal and state level.
Vivianne Ihekweazu, Managing Director, Nigeria Health Watch, “It is important for the media to continue to challenge their reporting skills and ensure that Nigerians are well informed on the current state of epidemics in the country”.
Ihekweazu further stated that “we are proud of the winners that emerged this year and we encourage more health journalists to report more on the need for epidemic preparedness and response funding”.
About Nigeria Health Watch
Nigeria Health Watch is a not-for-profit health communication and advocacy organization 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 www.nigeriahealthwatch.com
For more information about the #PreventEpidemicsNaija Journalism Awards please contact:
Contact person Nigeria Health Watch: Uche Nwagboso