Thom’s submission ‘Treating Drug-Resistant TB at home’ was awarded second place for the 2010 Lilly MDR-TB Partnership / Red Cross Annual TB Media Awards.
Her article explored the various successes of treating drug resistant TB patients while they are staying in their homes with family support as opposed to being institutionalised.
The award was held for the first time this year, to recognise outstanding online and print journalism and to honour journalists who serve their readers by providing responsible, accurate and timely information on tuberculosis prevention, research, development and treatment.
First place was awarded to Olivia Rose-Innes and Ilse Salzwedel who collaborated and wrote an article entitled ‘You could have TB’ which appeared on Health 24 and Pulse. The article looked at the ever present risk all South Africans have of being infected with TB.
The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership and South African Red Cross Society hoped that more South African journalists would pay more attention to the real stories about TB and better inform people about the disease which has claimed the lives of millions of South Africans.
Anna-Maria Lombard was named Discovery Health Journalist of the year 2010 for her submissions “Dora Nginza” and “The Price of denial”. The stories were broadcast on M-Net’s Carte Blanche, e-TV’s 3rd Degree respectively. Her entries were judged against over 130 entries from various other media received for this year’s second annual Discovery Health Journalism Awards held in Johannesburg.
The judges said her stories brought a wide range of views from the people affected by denialism and dysfunction to the doctors, administrators and society organisations who opposed them.
Convener of the Discovery Health Journalism Awards and the Executive Dean of the Humanities Faculty at the University of the Witwatersrand, Professor Tawana Kupe said in general the standard of entries were high.
‘We received better quality entries than in the inaugural Discovery Health Journalism Awards. Viewed from this perspective, we felt overall that the quality of health journalism is improving and we encourage Discovery Health to continue their support of these Awards, which can become one of the most comprehensive national awards, in recognising excellence in health journalism,’ Professor Kupe said.
He said the entries covered an extensive range of systematic issues in the health delivery system in both the public and private sectors. Good entries on diseases of lifestyle and mental health, in particular depression, were received and articles were well researched and relied on good scientific facts.
‘Looking ahead, we encourage more entries from journalists on health economics, drug resistance, HIV and AIDS and vaccine trials,’ Professor Kupe said.
Last year, Thom was a recipient of the prestigious award and was shortlisted this year as a finalist in two categories, best health news reporting and best analysis and commentary writing.
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