In an effort to recognise quality journalism among journalists and media professionals in Uganda, the School of Public Health has introduced the 2021 Uganda Road Safety Journalists Award.
The award will be one of the activities crowning the National Road Safety week event that will be commemorated in December this year.
“We are looking to announce the winners during this year’s National Road Safety week which is in December,” says Dr. Olive Kobusingye, an Accident & Emergency surgeon and injury epidemiologist at the School of Public Health.
Journalists from electronic, print and web media with reporting interests in road safety in Uganda are eligible to participate.
Any journalist that wishes to compete for this award has between June and November to make their submissions.
“The purpose of this award is to encourage journalists to report impactfully, meaningfully and interestingly about road safety issues in order to compel those that have a mandate to improve road safety and those that use the roads to work towards safer roads,” Dr. Kobusingye notes.
She adds that the underlying reason for this award stems from Uganda’s road safety record which is currently poor with very high rates of crashes and fatalities as well as non-fatal injuries that result in disabilities.
“We realise that journalists have a critical contribution to make in this road safety campaign. Quite often we as researchers put out research papers, reports and often they are not digested in a manner that non-technical people can consume. But journalists can take research outputs and communicate them in a way that the is meaningful and usable to different audiences,” Dr. Kobusingye.
To qualify for this award, a journalist must have produced stories that contribute to road safety including but not limited to the burden of road traffic crashes, factors that lead to unsafe roads, efforts that are being made to improve road safety, reflect a multisectoral approach from across the different bodies/ institutions that relate to road safety, among others.
At its 74th session on August 31 2020, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on improving global road safety in which it proclaimed the period of 2021-2030 as the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety, with a goal of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by at least 50% for the ten-year period.
The resolution compels Member States to continue action through 2030 on all the road safety-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals including target 3.6.
Dr. Kobusingye observes that this decade of action is a golden opportunity and a rallying point on actions agreed by Member States, including Uganda, which calls for political commitment, involvement of private sector, focusing on Non-Motorised Transport, vehicle standards and routine inspections as well as having good laws and their enforcement.
For more details regarding this award contact Mr. Bonny Balugaba on firstname.lastname@example.org
By Davidson Ndyabahika, communications officer at Makerere School of Public Health. For more information on email@example.com