Six journalists of the New Times Corporation (NTC), the publishers of The Ghanaian Times, and The Spectator have won eight Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards for their exceptional reportage on fertility and COVID-19 in 2021.
In the “More than a Mother 2021” competition which was aimed at breaking the infertility stigma in Africa and creating awareness about infertility prevention, Dzifa Tettey Tay, won the first position in the print category for West African Countries.
The second position in the print category went to Jonathan Donkor while Benedicta Gyimaah Folley and Agnes Opoku Sarpong placed second and third respectively in the online category.
Mrs Tay again beat off competition from her ECOWAS counterparts to emerge first in the “Mask up with Care 2021” competition which was meant to encourage the citizenry to adhere to the COVID-19 protocol especially mask-wearing.
She was followed by Ama Takyiwaa Ampadu Agyeman and Alfred Nii Arday Ankrah as joint second place winners with Ms Folley grabbing the third position.
These bring to 13, the number of awards NTC journalists have won since Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, a multinational pharmaceutical company, introduced the competition in Ghana in 2019.
Winners of the competitions organised in collaboration with African First Ladies, including Ghana’s Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo were announced on Wednesday and Thursday in separate statements issued by Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother.
It thanked the First Ladies for their consistent support as Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother and appreciated the efforts by the African Media Fraternity who became the voice of the voiceless to raise awareness about Infertility stigma and COVID-19 in the past year.
“I have always emphasized the prominent role of media as I strongly believe that both media and art have the capacity and ability to create a culture shift in our communities in a cost-effective way,” the statement quoted Dr Kelej.
It welcomed winners into the Merck Foundation Alumni to work closely with the Foundation to support and empower women and girls and announced that they would have one year access to an online educational training programme called ‘MasterClass.’
It said the Merck Foundation received a great response from African journalists in the form of several excellent entries and thanked journalists to continue to create awareness of infertility stigma and COVID-19.
Other winners include Ojoma Akor of Daily Trust, Nigeria; EfiaAkese of The Mirror, Ghana; Zadok Kwame Gyesi of Graphiconline, Ghana; Never Lomo; Liberia; NetaParsramand EmannuelDebrah of Multimedia, Ghana; Alie Ceesay of QTV, The Gambia; Akua Oforiwaa Darko of GBC, Ghana; Nelson Nyadror Adanuti, of Diamond FM, Ghana; Prosper Kuorsoh of Ghana News Agency; AbiodunAzi of News Agency of Nigeria; Wendy Laryea and Beatrice Spio-Garbrah of TV3, Ghana.