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To celebrate the critical role of journalists in epidemic preparedness and response, Nigeria Health Watch is partnering Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award (NHEA) to honour journalists.

The award tagged ‘Prevent Epidemics Journalism Award’ is said to celebrate outstanding media reportage on epidemic preparedness and response across radio, print, and television.

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Managing Director, Nigeria Health Watch, Vivianne Ihekweazu, in a statement made available to the media explained that the award recognises journalists that raise awareness among public and policymakers on the importance of funding epidemic preparedness and response.

The statement therefore, reads: “This recognition on NHEA platform inspires journalists to continue their vital role to ensure we are able to safeguard the country’s health security.”

Emphasising the significance of the partnership, NHEA project director, Wale Alabi, in the statement said: “This partnership with Nigeria Health Watch represents a significant milestone in acknowledging and celebrating the critical role of journalists in epidemic preparedness and response. The Prevent Epidemics Journalism award will not only honor outstanding reporting, but also contribute to raising the bar for healthcare journalism standards in Nigeria.

“Previous award winners have written articles that emphasised the importance of preparing for epidemics in Nigeria.

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“Since inception, the eligibility criteria for nominated articles or shows have centered around three key categories which include; epidemic preparedness and response to disease outbreaks in Nigeria; community awareness with a focus on improving awareness of infectious diseases while itemising the roles of citizens and actors in epidemic preparedness and response; and budget and funding related stories. The latter should effectively communicate the amount of funding allocated for epidemic preparedness and response, highlighting existing funding gaps, and propose appropriate next steps.’’