The multi award winning HIV drama series, Intersexions, and the national men's programme Brothers For Life campaign, the national talk show Siyayinqoba Beat It and the One Man Can Programme added new feathers to their caps by winning big at the annual Africomnet Awards for Excellence in Health Communication held in Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania.
Intersexions, Brothers For Life and Siyayinqoba-Beat it are part of the USAID/JHU HIV communication programme in South Africa being implemented by Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa (JHHESA) and 23 partners with funding from USAID and PEPFAR.The One Man Can Project is undertaken by Sonke Gender Justice the strategic partner working on the Brothers for Life Campaign.
Intersexions, undertaken in partnership with SABC 1, SABC Education and produced by Quizzical Pictures and Antz Multimedia, won the award for Best Mass Media intervention, campaign or production. This award recognises excellence in the usage of mass media as the main channel in strategic communication.
Brothers For Life received its 5th award of 2012, scooping the Best Multi Channel Intervention which recognises excellence in implementing an integrated strategic communicationapproach that uses television, radio, print and interpersonal communication.
The Siyayinqoba television series by Community Media Trust and the One Man Can campaign by Sonke Gender Justice were runners up in the Best Series and Best interpersonal/community initiative respectively.
The African Network for Strategic Communication in Health and Development (AfriComNet) is an association of HIV/AIDS, health and development communication practitioners who reside, work, or have a primary interest in Africa and aims to strengthen capacity in, and commitment to, strategic communication for heath and development in Africa.
The Africomnet awards recognize outstanding contributions made by individuals and organizations to strategic HIV/AIDS communication and encourage innovation in strategic communication. The 6th edition of the awards were held as part of a three-day practicum on "Community-based Communication for Comprehensive HIV Prevention: Evidence and Lessons" held on the 12th to the 14th of November 2012 at Dar es Salaam Tanzania. The goal of the practicum is to share evidence, lessons, tools, and promising practices that can or have the potential to be replicated and scaled up with particular emphasis on communication strategies, interventions, designs, evaluation of reach and effect.
Speaking at the awards, Executive Chairperson of the Tanzanian Commission for Aids Dr. Fatuma Mrisho called on the donor community to recognise and support the role of strategic communication in health programming, saying "there is no bio medical intervention that can work without strategic communication and there cannot be any prevention without communication"
Associate Director for Communication Science & Research at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Dr. J Douglas Storey described the work done by the partners involved in the USAID/JHU Communication Programme in South Africa as "world class" and called on Africomnet to expand its networks worldwide as there are manylessons to be shared "these awards are evidence of good science, creative energy and commitment by the a very good team of communication experts at JHHESA and its partners and are thoroughly deserved".
Acting General Manager of SABC Education, Ms. Pontsho Makhetha commended the partnership for showing once again that there is immense power in pooling expertise, resources and experience together "I'm humbled by these awards. As SABC Education, we always aim to touch people's lives, to inspire them to do things that they would otherwise not do, like testing, communicating about sex and issues related to it and most of all - to change their lives positively. Intersexions, Brothers for life and Siyayingqoba -Beat it, have done just that, not only in South Africa, but in the African continent. To all our partners I say - Een drag maak mag/Unity is strength".
Richard Delate, Managing Director for Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa said that the partners working on the USAID/JHU HIV Communication Programme are honoured to receive the AfricomNet Awards, as the awards are a peer review mechanism adjudicated bysome of the leading academics and experts working in the area of health andHIV/AIDS communication in Africa.
For more information please contact Sara Chitambo: Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa, Tel: 012 366 9300 or on firstname.lastname@example.org.