East Africa enhances media coverage on NCD prevention and control

21st August 2020

The burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in East Africa calls for increasing NCD prevention and control in the region and media engagement is critical for raising public awareness.

To support awareness-raising efforts and call on government action, media engagement is indeed critical. The East Africa NCD Alliance in collaboration with six national member alliances (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, and Zanzibar) initiated in 2018 the Strategic Media Engagement for Advocacy on Diabetes and Other Non-Communicable Diseases project to increase media's awareness on NCDs.

To equip a group of journalists with the skills and tools to grasp and disseminate important key messages on NCDs, the project was closely followed by a small emerging cadre of NCD advocates and medical practitioners. The East Africa NCD Alliance has engaged in total, over 170 journalists, 44 advocates, and 10 people living with NCDs (PLWNCDs) to produce stories on NCD-related topics on the radio, television and written press. 

Funded by the World Diabetes Foundation, the project has established media partnerships in each East African country and has shown there is a commitment to provide regular and accurate information on NCDs through media channels, with an overall increase of 30% of the media coverage accorded to NCDs.