By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh |
The Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin has called for a change in attitude of the citizenry to rid the country of malaria epidemic and its attendant deaths.
Osagyefo Ofori Panin bemoaned illegal mining and other environmental degrading activities that offered breeding places for malaria-causing mosquitoes, thus, increasing malaria cases, resulting in loss of lives especially children below 5 years nationwide.
According to him, there was the need for concerted efforts with the media assuming a crucial position in championing the crusade for attitudinal change hammering, “medical science cannot ensure malaria-free Ghana but our attitude.”
The Okyenhene who was the Guest Speaker at the second edition of the Eastern Region Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards held on August 9 in Koforidua under the theme “Securing a Malaria Free Ghana, Role of the Media”, found the theme for the Awards appropriate and timely and tasked the media to do its best to arrest malaria cases in the country to secure the future of the younger generation.
He observed that a lot of things were not going on well in the country saying, “here we are 62 years later, we are talking about eradicating malaria” while the masses were plagued with the disease of poverty just as in other countries on the continent, Africa blessed with rich natural resources “yet we’re the headquarters of poverty, a poverty without option.”
Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin said only the media, an important tool for change could help the situation and in every circumstance, alert people in authority to the gloomy state of affairs appealing, “help us, speak to power.”
Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye-Dafour admitted that the work of a journalist was not easy as they faced challenges while carrying out their duties and commended the Eastern Region GJA for instituting an awards scheme to reward deserving journalists.
Mr. Kwakye-Dafour promised not to deliberately obstruct the work of journalists but partner with them “so together, we can move the region forward.”
Chairman, Eastern Region GJA, Maxwell Kudekor urged members to up their game and focus on developmental stories to benefit the region and the country.
Mr. Kudekor disclosed that there were no winners for 4 out 11 categories explaining, 3 nominations; Best Water and Sanitation, Agriculture, Business and SME did not meet the criteria set by the Awards Committee while that of Best Malaria received no entry.
Giving staggering statistics on the dangers of malaria, he expressed disappointment that there was no single entry for competition on malaria even when the theme for the Awards was on malaria eradication.
Friday’s Awards which had the National GJA President, Affail Monney, tall list of chiefs and elders from the region and distinguished personalities in attendance, saw competitive and honourary awards given to journalists, and an individual and organisations respectively for their contribution towards the growth of the journalism profession in the region.
For the competitive category, Bertha Badu, Chief Reporter of Ghana News Agency picked the Best Health Reporting, Ama Takyiwa Ampadu Agyeman, Ghanaian Times, Best Road safety Reporting and Daniel Bampoe, Daily Guide, Best Crime and Court reporting.
The other award winners included Sylvanus Gatorwu, a freelancer, the Best Rural Reporting, Gilbert Kwasi Frimpong, Daily Statesman, Best Environment Reporting, Felix Yaw Adjei, Okwahu FM, Best Development programme, and Kwaku Aboagye Appenteng of Kingdom Fm, Indigenous News Caster Award.
The Honourary awards went to the Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye-Dafour, GBC-Sunrise, Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Royal Mac-Dic Hotel.
The Eastern Region GJA are the second to institute a regional awards scheme in 2018 after the pacesetters, Volta Region (2017) to reward and motivate journalists producing and publishing compelling development-oriented stories in the region.