Health Media Project in Kenya

U.S. Presidential Initiative:
U.S. Global Health Initiative

Funding Level:
US$8 million 

January 2013 – December 2016

Activity Goals:

  • Provide training in photography, interview skills and research skills
  • Provide a media resource center
  • Encourage health-related stories

Activity Accomplishments (to date):

  • 6 journalists used Internews TV production resources
  • 11 stories were published by journalists who attended the Malaria Journalism symposium
  • Held Maternity Care Roundtable “Free maternity; are we ready yet?
  •  29 journalists attended the Maternal and Child Health Roundtable
  • 70 health-related stories published in three months

Activity Locations:

Key Partners:
Ministry of Health

iHub, Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture, African Media and Malaria Research Network,  Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium

Health Media Project in Kenya enhances a coherent and sustained media response to public health for the well-being of all Kenyans. The Project builds capacity of media practitioners to shape public attitudes and influence behavioral change through well-researched journalism. The Project builds on USAID’s Voices in Health media training program (2003-2012), which trained a network of more than 900 health journalists over nine years. 

Health Media Project expands on USAID’s Voices in Health by broadening its HIV and AIDS focus to include cross-cutting issues such as reproductive health, child survival, maternal mortality, and malaria. The Project is aligned with the targets set out in the Kenya National Health Sector Plan II and the United States Government President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Health Media Project works with Internews, whose world-tested training includes a comprehensive suite of health journalism activities spanning broadcast, print, online and digital platforms, photography, lay-out and design, data, management, investigative, multi-media, and visualization specialties. The Write Spot - Internews’ Media Resource and Digital Media Centers - continues to provide a vibrant space for research, story production, networking and hands-on support.


Kangema Community Radio inspired to start weekly HIV programs

The Health Media Project conducted a week-long workshop on health-related stories for Kangema RANET FM. Before the course, the journalists hadn’t realized that they were ignoring a major issue in their community – HIV.

After the workshop, the journalists were inspired to start two, one-hour interactive programs on HIV. The first program was broadcast on July 2, 2013, and received positive feedback from listeners by text message - commending the station for educating the public on HIV. 

“The two HIV programs we started made us realize there was a great thirst for information on HIV-related content”, said one of the participants, Teresia Wanjiku.

The broadcast can be heard here:

With the weekly shows, Kangema FM hopes to address HIV stigma in the community, which they hope will in turn promote HIV testing and the uptake of treatment.

The weekly slots were created despite resource challenges at Kangema RANET FM. The station does not have a recording studio with usable acoustics. Journalists are not able to go to the field to interact with the community and collect stories. Added to this is the fact that electricity is not always consistent. The station does not have a backup-generator, which means that it is often off-air. USAID provided Kangema FM with a desktop computer with audio editing facilities, two audio recorders and headphones. This, along with consistent mentoring should keep the newly-created programs on air as long as the power holds.

USAID Contact:
Tara Simpson, Activity Manager
Tel:  +254 713 601 491

Health Media Project in Kenya Contact:
Ida Jooste, Kenya Country Director
Office: +254 20 2228599
Mobile: +254 720 953 765


Updated January 2014

Last updated: March 31, 2014

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