Media practitioners were on Tuesday, called upon to promote good behavior and keep people informed on issues of prevention and control of diseases to ensure better living standards that guarantee a healthy future.
The call was made by Arthur Asiimwe, the Director General of Health Communication Centre, during the Annual Health Awards ceremony to honour journalists who excelled in reporting on health issues.
Asiimwe said the media is a major a source of factual information, opinion and analysis and therefore should use it also advocate for behavioral change.
“The media is an integral part of the vision to promote good health and behavior. It influences understanding of issues, imparts knowledge and should also advocate for promotion of good behavior,” he noted.
The Minister of Health, Agnes Binagwaho, stated that the media is a key pillar in the development of the health sector.
She urged scribes to always use timely and accurate information so as keep the public well informed and educated.
Protais Musoni, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, said that government is trying to engage a reformed package for the media industry with a sole purpose of ensuring that the industry has dignity and is respected.
Charlotte Karangwayire, a journalist from Imvaho Nshya newspaper, was the overall winner in the print section, which earned her a laptop and camera.
She said that the awards were a good incentive to motivate journalists to report well researched, balanced, informative and educative stories.
Karangwayire called upon fellow journalists to always go down to the villages to cover health issues that affect the community.
Ten journalists out of thirty five were awarded for their outstanding performance in reporting on health related issues.
Gloria Iribagiza, of The New Times also scooped first runner up award in the print section.
“The awards are an inspiration to journalists to use their skills to improve health in communities,” said Iribagiza, who is also the features editor at The New Times.
“Everyone in their capacities and professions should play their part to enhance health and behavioral change for the development of the country.
The New Times was also awarded with a certificate of recognition for its contribution in promoting behavioral change in priority health issues.
The gifts included laptops, cameras, blackberry phones, recorders and T-shirts among others.