The multi award-winning HIV drama series Intersexions and national Brothers For Life received honors at the African Network for Strategic Communication in Health and Development (AfriComNet) annual awards for excellence in HIV and AIDS communication in Africa. The 2012 AfriComNet awards ceremony was held on November 13 in Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania.
Intersexions and Brothers For Life are part of the USAID and Johns Hopkins University HIV communication program in South Africa that is implemented by Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa (JHHESA) and 23 partners with funding from USAID and PEPFAR.
Intersexions, undertaken in partnership with SABC Education and co-produced by Curious Pictures and Ants Multimedia, won the award for Best Mass Media intervention, campaign or production. This award recognizes excellence in the usage of mass media as the primary channel for strategic communication.
Brothers For Life received its fifth award of 2012, winning the Best Multi-channel Intervention which recognizes excellence in implementing an integrated strategic communication initiative using television, radio, print and interpersonal communication.
AfriComNet is an association of HIV/AIDS, health and development communication practitioners who reside, work, or have a primary interest in Africa. AfriComNet 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 sixth annual award ceremony was held as part of a three-day practicum on “Community-based Communication for Comprehensive HIV Prevention: Evidence and Lessons”.
Speaking at the awards, Executive Chairperson of the Tanzanian Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS), Dr. Fatuma Mrisho, called on the donor community to recognize and support the role of strategic communication in health programming, saying “there is no biomedical intervention that can work without strategic communication and there cannot be any prevention without communication”.
Dr. J. Douglas Storey, Associate Director for Communication Science and Research at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (JHU∙CCP), described JHHESA’s HIV communications work in South Africa as “world class” and called on AfriComNet to expand its networks worldwide as there are many lessons to be shared. He explained, “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”.
Richard Delate, JHHESA Managing Director, said that it is an honor to receive the AfriComNet awards and share them with their hardworking partners, especially because the awards are a peer review mechanism adjudicated by some of the leading academics and experts working in the area of health and HIV/AIDS communication in Africa.
For more information please contact Sara Chitambo: Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa, Tel: 012 366 9300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.