Ms Bertha Badu-Agyei, an Editor at the Ghana News Agency has won a sub-regional media excellence award on ‘Women, Newborn, Children and Adolescent Well-being (WNCAW) in a competitive awards organized by the Women, Media and Change (WOMEC) for three West African countries.

Her story titled “Can the Poor Fight for Justice? The Cry of a Mother of a Disabled Child” won her the overall best in Ghana out of 15 entries received from Ghana and a total of 34 entries received from Sierra Leone, and Senegal at a WNCAW disseminating conference organised under the auspices of the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO), in Accra.

Two other Ghanaian journalists Ms Eunice Menka from the Ghana Business News and Ms Benedicta Gyimah Folley, Ghanaian Times were the first and second runner’s up with story titles “Challenges With NHIS Hindering Quality Malaria Care’ and “The Cost of Pesticides on Fertility’ respectively.

Three media persons each from Senegal and Sierra Leone were also awarded in the same category of championing WNCAW issues in their respective countries and each of the awardees received a plaque, a certificate and a cash prize.

The awards coincided with the two-day dissemination conference on improving WNCAW in West Africa, organized in partnership with Alliance For Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR), the Consortium For Mothers, Children, Adolescents and Health Policy and Systems Strengthening (COMCAHPSS), The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and WAHO.

WOMEC is a not-for-profit organisation which promotes the use of media for the advancement of women in six West African countries including Ghana Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Burkina Faso.

Dr Charity Binka, Executive Director of the WOMEC said even though the entries for the awards were low it was competitive adding that “this calls for more training for journalists to specialise in WNCAW to improve women and children’s wellbeing across the continent”.

She called on the award winners not to rest on their oars, but continue to highlight the issues of women and children in their respective countries so that together challenges faced by women in the sub region could be eliminated in the interest of all.

Professor Stanley Okolo, Director-General of WAHO commended the award winners for showing commitment to the improvement of women and children and urged them to continue to champion the health rights of the African woman for better outcomes.

Professor Richard Adanu, Rector Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons who chaired the awards ceremony said the media played a critical role in improving women and children’s issues especially on health and commended the awardees.

He advised all journalists to be interested in policies and programmes aimed to improve the health of women and children and hope that the excellence awards would set the tone for a media activism in women’s health across the continent.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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