35 journalists undergo virtual training on HIV/AIDS 

African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME), with support from the United States Mission in Uganda, has completed a five-day virtual fellowship on reporting health and HIV/AIDS. 

A total of 35 journalists sourced from radio, TV, print and online media across the country attended the course, from 1 to 5 November 2021. The online training follows a physical course where 40 journalists were trained on the same issues earlier this year. 

The programme seeks to train at least 100 journalists by the end of the year. The second cohort of the virtual training will take place in December. The project aims to support health journalists with the skills to tell the HIV/AIDS and health story in innovative ways. 

The training covers a wide range of topics, including; ethics of reporting health, new ways of reporting HIV/AIDS, reporting medical studies and research, packaging a good health story, efforts in Uganda’s fight against HIV, among others. 

These modules were delivered by experienced health journalists such as Dr Charles Wendo, Mr John Baptist Wasswa and Ms Evelyn Lirri. 

They were supported by other facilitators such as Lisa Mills, the Assistant Director for Science at US Centers for Diseases Control, Uganda; Steven Reynolds, Director, US National Institutes of Health, Uganda; Dr Emilio Dirlikov, CDC Uganda Health Service Branch Chief;   Katherine Owens, USAID, HIV/AIDS Team Leader; and Brian Rettman, the PEPFAR Coordinator for Uganda.

Here is what stood out for the participants 

“This course has come at the time when we are preparing to commemorate international AIDS day. Bringing the experts from the Centre for Disease Control and the US Embassy to facilitate the training was great”- Phoebe Masongole, Daily Monitor

“The interactive nature of the sessions and the well informed facilitators”- 

“Topics such as; How to report research findings; How to simplify health stories for your audience”- Irene Kirabo, Clouds FM

“I liked Dr Wendo’s topics”- Daniel Okello, Hot FM

“That we live by science and so should report even without scientific words”- Robert Ojok Mone, Radio Parcis 

“The expertise in handling the questions paused by the journalists and the rich experience of the senior facilitators in line with their duties really made my week. And with all these, I have achieved a lot”- Godwin Bwambale, UBC Bundibugyo

“The content was good and the facilitators were vibrant”- Naume Biira, Kanungu Broadcasting Services 

“I liked the fact that we had various facilitators and numerous topics concerning both our profession and health”- Stephen Omara, TND News 

“Trends of HIV research in the country and how to source for a good health story”- Bayan Nalubwama, UG Bazz

“This training has given me the light to use the right ways of writing stories about HIV/AIDS using the correct words and even giving hope to the general public about an outbreak.”- Judith Amusugut, Step FM 

“The training has helped to understand the research being done to wipe out HIV/AIDS and also progress made in addressing challenges related to the epidemic”- Ismail Bategeka, Daily Monitor 

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