A Ghanaian Times reporter, Abigail Annoh, was last Friday awarded at the maiden edition of the Epidemics Preparedness and Response Financing in Ghana Awards, in Accra.
Her articles: Public health emergency preparedness, a panacea to future epidemics and Epidemic Preparedness Fund (EPF) in new medium term national development policy framework, won her the award in the newspaper category of the awards.
Miss Annoh received a citation and cash prize for her contribution towards instigating the need for the country to be alert in cases of epidemics.
She received the award under the category of “Most impactful reporter or writer for epidemic preparedness financing.”
Various media institutions including Daily Graphic, Ghana Television, Ghana News Agency (GNA) and online news portals also had reporters receiving awards in their respective categories.
The awards ceremony was organised by SEND Ghana and the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI).
Linda Audrey Aryeetey of the GNA won the overall best report as well as the best online report for Epidemics Preparedness and Response Financing in Ghana; Zadok Kwame Gyesi of the Daily Graphic won the best report in print category while Ridwa Karim Diri-Osman won the best report for radio.
The Chief Executive Officer, SEND Ghana West Africa, MrSiapha Kamara, in his address, congratulated the awardees for their efforts and contributions towards ensuring that the country was prepared for emergencies.
He said the campaign was to get the government to prioritise emergency alertness as “if we do not prepare and invest in infrastructure, policies, human resources, consciousness of the citizenry to take emergency preparedness in mind, we will suffer.”
Mr Kamara indicated the need for the country to be less prone to epidemics and the government’s need to invest at least 15 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the health sector to build the needed infrastructure.
“COVID-19 has made us roll out a lot of ideas and we want to maintain the momentum with this step,” he stated.
“Let us not make the hospitals a nine day wonder, training done must be upgraded, invest resources in research,” he added.
The Vice President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mrs Linda Asante Agyei, congratulated the awardees and urged journalists to intensify their gatekeeping roles.
Mr Stephen Atasige, Country Coordinator, GHAI, applauded the efforts of SEND Ghana in identifying journalists who were contributing towards the goal.
He stressed that the GHAI was looking forward to building a stronger coalition with journalists in achieving the goal, adding that in subsequent years more journalists would be awarded.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR