The Reducing Inequities in Health Care Awards (RIHCA 2021) are set to come off this year to reward outstanding contributions of journalists in promoting equitable health care delivery in the country.
RIHCA 2021 is the first of its kind to celebrate outstanding journalists whose media activities have contributed specifically to reducing inequities and promoting quality healthcare delivery in the areas of maternal health and family planning, malaria, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition and HIV and AIDS.
Journalists will be rewarded in categories including Best Reporting on Malaria, Most Impactful Story on HIV and AIDS, Best WASH Awareness Report, Best Nutrition Report, Special Maternal Health and Family Planning Report and Most Impactful P4H Reporter, and journalists whose works fall within these health areas are encouraged to send in their nominations.
Penplusbytes, a non-governmental organisation, and its partners are the organisers of the RIHCA 2021 as part of their People for Health (P4H) project, which was implemented within the last five years with funding support from the United States Agency for International Development.
This was contained in a statement issued by Penplusbytes and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday.
The statement said “Disparities in health care delivery as a result of poverty, unequal access to health care, lack of education, stigma, and discrimination are underlying contributing factors of health inequities in Ghana”.
It said “To reduce these inequities in Ghana’s health care delivery, Penplusbytes together with its partners SEND Ghana and the Ghana News Agency, implemented the People for Health (P4H) project and are set to host the maiden edition of the Reducing Inequities in Health care Awards (RIHCA 2021), themed rewarding media efforts in promoting equitable healthcare delivery in Ghana.”
It said “The successes and impact achieved under this citizen-centred project have been largely influenced by the works of journalists reporting on our health sector in the seven project regions (Northern, Savannah, North East, Volta, Oti, Greater Accra, and Eastern)”.
The statement said “The journalists’ reports have headlined untold stories of citizens’ challenges in seeking health care, provided direction to health professionals and provided relevant ideas to policy makers”.
It quoted Ms Juliet Amoah, Executive Director of Penplusbytes as saying “The media’s contribution has been very pivotal in bringing out issues that form the basis for our constant engagements with duty-bearers and demand for social justice and accountability and they deserve to be encouraged and empowered to bring out public interest stories that inform policy direction on citizens’ wellbeing”.
It said “Ms Amoah added that RIHCA is going to be an institutionalised annual awards ceremony that will recognise the efforts and strides being made by individuals and groups in reducing the inequities in healthcare delivery and wellbeing of citizens”.
Over the last five years, a consortium made up of Penplusbytes, SEND Ghana and Ghana News Agency have been implementing the P4H project aimed at reducing inequities in the delivery of health services through the promotion of good governance practices of accountability, transparency, equity and participation.