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July 25, 2022

SEND Ghana Celebrates Media Advocacy Excellence Towards Epidemic Preparedness Financing

SEND Ghana, in partnership with the Global Health Advocacy Incubator’s (GHAI) Prevent Epidemics program, held a journalism award contest to recognize quality reporting on epidemic preparedness financing in Ghana. The June 30 event, entitled “Celebrating media advocacy excellence towards epidemic preparedness financing in Ghana,” honored Ghanaian journalists who have covered the topic of epidemic preparedness financing over the past year. The awards recognize their work to increase public and political awareness as well as encourage sustained media attention on the topic.

As part of a comprehensive advocacy campaign, SEND Ghana partnered with select Ghanaian journalists to leverage their broadcast and print media platforms, as well as social media platforms, to inform and educate the public and policymakers of the critical need to fund epidemic preparedness and response (EPR) in Ghana.

A panelist of judges, including Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), Penplusbytes (a media and tech non-government organization) and GHAI reviewed 28 nominated stories submitted by 13 journalists and selected six award winners:

Abigail Annor: Best Print Reporting
Zadok Gyesthe: Runner-up for Best Print Reporting
Albert Futukpor: Best Online Reporting
Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey: Runner-up for Best Online Reporting
Mutala Issah: Best Television Reporting
Ridwan Karim: Best Radio Reporting
Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey: Best Overall Reporting

Additionally, four civil society advocates and EPR champions received awards: Salifu Freeman Kanton, Jane Oku, Kwame Gurundoo and Walter Gli were honored for their efforts to promote EPR messages through their social media platforms.

Seventy-nine people attended the event, including the Queen-mother of the Osudoku traditional area Nana Amponsah Dokua, a champion of the campaign. Also in attendance were the Director of the National Center for the Coordination of Early Warning and Response Mechanism, representatives from the Ministry of Health, GHAI’s Ghana In-Country Coordinator, the Vice President of the GJA, the district health management teams, civil society organizations and representatives from media outlets.

In remarks at the event, Mr. Siapha Kamara, Chief Executive Officer of SEND West Africa, noted that the “Ghana government committed to invest about 15 percent of its GDP in the health sector. Unfortunately, [over the past] 15 years, the country has not been able to do more than eight percent.” “If we were investing 15 percent of our GDP in the health sector, we will be able to build the infrastructure, invest in the human resources and strengthen the system” said Siapha.

GHAI’s In-Country Coordinator for the Prevent Epidemics program, Mr. Stephen Atasige, gave closing remarks and said GHAI greatly appreciates the partnership with SEND Ghana and all other stakeholders in the campaign advocating for increased financial investments towards epidemic preparedness in Ghana.

SEND Ghana and GHAI look forward to continuing to build a strong coalition with journalists and continuing to encourage their coverage of this important issue.

Funding for the Prevent Epidemics program provided by Resolve to Save Lives.