In the run-up to World TB Day on 24 March, the REACH Lilly MDR-TB Partnership Media Awards 2016 were presented on 22nd March 2016 at Hotel Metropolitan in New Delhi, to recognize outstanding and responsible reporting on tuberculosis (TB) at an event co-hosted by REACH, the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership and USAID.

The awards were presented by Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of The Stop TB Partnership on Tuesday, 22 March in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ditiu remarked that journalists had the rare opportunity to shape minds and act as powerful vehicle for social change. She urged journalists to continue reporting on TB and bring to centrestage stories that have remained untold.  “We need the media’s support if TB is to make the headlines”, she said.

Shri Anshu Prakash, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare commented on the urgency of the situation in his address. “We need to eliminate TB now and the government of India is absolutely commited to doing so. We cannot end TB in the timeframe we want to unless we work together with all partners including patient communities, civil society, the private sector and the media”, he said.

Guests of honour at the event included Ambassador Jonathan Addleton, Mission Director, USAID India and Dr Sunil Khaparde, Deputy Director General (TB), Central TB Division, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

In the English category, the winners were Sonal Matharu for her comprehensive and lucid story titled ‘Dying in the dust bowl’ published in Governance Now and R. Prasad for his story ‘Child-friendly paediatric TB drugs will be a game changer’, published in The Hindu.

In the Local Language category, the winners were Reji Joseph for his article titled ‘Kerala trailing migrant Tuberculosis patients’ published in Rashtra Deepika and Prashant Kumar Dubey for his detailed story titled ‘Nutrition and TB: Essential but Ignored Relationship’ published in Dainik Bhaskar.

Instituted in 2010, the REACH Lilly MDR-TB Partnership Media Awards highlight the vital role played by the media in informing the public and decision-makers about TB prevention, control and care. This year, over 50 entries were received from across India. All entries were evaluated by a distinguished jury including Dr Jaya Shreedhar, journalist and health communications consultant; Dr V Kumaraswami, former Director-in-charge, Tuberculosis Research Centre (now NIRT); Ms Blessina Kumar, Chair, Global Coalition of TB Activists; Mr Subrat Mohanty, The Union South East Asia Office; Dr Anurag Bhargava, Yenepoya Medical College, Mangalore; and Ms. Shobha Shukla, Managing Editor of Citizen News Service.

“Since its launch in 2003, the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership has been working with all stakeholders to fight the burden of TB. Media has played and will continue to play a very critical role in that effort and these awards recognize the contribution of those journalists who have led from the front in the journey to Unite to End TB”, said Mr Garg, Director, Corporate Affairs & PRA, Eli Lilly and Co. Pvt. Ltd.

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“Through our work with the media, we hope to not only improve the quality of reporting on TB but also support journalists with the tools and information they need to write about TB in a manner that genuinely impacts the reader”, said Dr Nalini Krishnan, Director, REACH.

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