Stories about the Science of Vaccines  

Health journalists in Zambia are gathered for a series of meetings and discussions hosted by AVAC and Internews in Lusaka to unpack the science of HIV vaccines and other prevention options. The country has an HIV prevalence of almost 13%, and is gearing up for clinical trials to test a new HIV candidate vaccine. “I’m so much clearer about what the numbers mean and what the science is all about”, says Lorraine Mwanza, who is leading a program of science media café’s at the Zambia Institute of Mass Communication, ZAMCOM, in Lusaka.    

June 21, 2017

Latest News From the 8th South African Aids Conference

Dozens of South African health journalists are gathered in Durban to hear updates about the response to HIV from the 8th SA Aids conference being held in Durban 13th – 15th June, 2017. The conference features research updates and debates about the best way forward.

The theme of the conference is “The Long Road to Prevention. Every Voice Counts”. WhatsUpHIV is a blog site created as a platform for young community journalists reporting the HIV story from the viewpoint of those most affected by the epidemic, young people.

Says conference chair, Dr Sue Goldstein: "we are trying to get the voices of young people heard by everyone working in the field. Not only are these young people key to education and prevention but the ways in which we engage with them now will influence how they, as adults, are able to continue to promote rights and dignity of all. Key words in the conference which we hope to hear many times are transparency, accountability, humanity, excellence and innovation. But this doesn't mean that the compelling evidence for existing known interventions will be ignored."

Internews, in partnership with AVAC and Community Media Trust is supporting the six young bloggers writing for WhatsUpHIV.    

June 13, 2017

Experimental Ebola vaccine to be used in DRC

The current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the first in the history of the disease where contacts and contacts of contacts (those exposed to the virus and their contacts) will benefit from an effective vaccine. The vaccine is not licensed, but has shown promising signs in a clinical trial in Guinea. Internews is working with partner journalists in DRC to explain how ring vaccination works and to ensure all those eligible for the vaccine will come forward.

June 5, 2017

A malaria news feature project in Kenya has been shortlisted for the prestigious international contest, The Data Journalism Awards 2017.

The project, "Researchers bet on mass medication to wipe out malaria in Lake Victoria region" shows the milestones towards ending malaria, highlighting the efforts and impact being made by a handful of scientists and researchers to curb a disease which remains life threatening to countries like Kenya. Data was derived from studies done in previous years to show the milestone made towards ending malaria. Graphs and infographics neatly explained the gains made and challenges experienced over time. We are holding thumbs for this project, which continues to show that health data journalism projects in Kenya can compete with the best in the world.  


May 30, 2017

The WHO has a new Director-General and he is the first African to head the organization. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Health in Ethiopia, will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017. Dr. Tedros (as he prefers to be known) is credited with leading global efforts to tackle HIV and malaria and with addressing Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. Expect to see media profiles highlighting his achievements as well as the controversies around his appointment. In his home country, many opposed Dr. Tedros’ campaign to lead the world health body. They say his health leadership in Ethiopia was politically tainted. The new Director-General has a tough task ahead and an opportunity to provide leadership when U.S. foreign aid is under serious threat: pandemic outbreaks threaten global security, non-communicable diseases are taking a toll in both the developed and developing world. Other key health concerns that need to be addressed with vigor are the ongoing high rate of new HIV infections, malaria and the health of pregnant women and their infants.

Media can direct request for interviews to: 

Gregory Härtl
WHO Department of Communications
Mobile: +41 79 203 67 15

May 24, 2017

May 15, 2017







There is an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In tandem with the health response, an international effort is underway to ensure people have the information they need, to avoid infection. The World Health Organization (WHO) says teams of epidemiologists as well as experts in social mobilization, risk communication and community engagement are putting together plans based on expertise built in West Africa. The DRC also has significant experience with Ebola management, as this is the eighth Ebola epidemic in the country.

The first known outbreak of the diseases occurred there in 1976. This time around, the news to watch is whether the new Ebola vaccine will be used in the response


may 10, 2017




USAID withdraws funds to Kenya's Ministry of Health. The unfolding story made front page headlines for days, from shock and speculation to calls for the Kenyan government to root out corruption. Seasoned Kenyan journalist and editor Chaacha Mwita says "This is surprising for a country that values political news so much, especially so close to an election. Health does matter."


A pill a day can prevent HIV infection and Kenya is rolling out this highly effective method of HIV control, called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Good news for Kenya, where young women are at high risk of becoming HIV positive. This has been a high profile story in the news media in Kenya. The Daily Nation’s infographic explains how PrEP works and why everyone at risk should take the daily pill.


May 5, 2017


April 26, 2017



A mainstream newspaper in Kenya, The Standard, is hosting robust discussion on the practice of slapping mothers during labor. These conversations are being ignited by the new journalism training program in Kenya on family planning and reproductive health issues.