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DKT Ethiopia awards outstanding local journalists in family planning

In an effort to promote family planning, DKT Ethiopia (‘DKT’) hosted a nationwide Journalists Award Program in late 2020, a first-of-its-kind event for the leading social marketing organization in Ethiopia.
Seventeen radio journalists from around the country took part in the inaugural program, with the organization eying even more participation in 2021.
A team of academic, health and media experts carefully went through all the works of the participants and selected five winners, who received cash and in-kind prizes, including Smart mobile phones and voice recorders.

The winners were also offered a two-day bootcamp training focused on health reporting.

Michael Evans, Country Director of DKT Ethiopia, shared that the role of journalists in promoting family planning is great.

“We need the press, we need journalists to spread the good work, to inform your people, your readers, your viewers, that together with the Government and other similar organizations, we are pushing forward a program of education of health and contraceptive commodities to allow people to plan their life, giving them the opportunity for a better life.”

Emebet Abu, Marketing Head at DKT, said the award program was aimed at promoting discussion about family planning among journalists and their respective audiences so as to ensure the accurate flow of information.

“We need a continuous flow of information to bring about the kind of behavior change we want to promote.”

“That is where we need your partnership.”

“Your continuous reporting will result in decreasing maternal and child mortality and make healthy and happy families,” Emebet added.

The award ceremony was attended by Dr. Meseret Zelalem, Director of the Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Directorate at the Federal Ministry of Health, who said on the occasion that Ethiopia has achieved good results in family planning, especially over the last two decades.

“Modern family planning use is at 41%, but we still have a long way to go,” said Dr. Meseret.

“Unmet need for family planning is at 22%, and journalists, in collaboration with other stakeholders, have to maintain their ongoing efforts in this regard.”

“Adolescents and youth need friendly health information and services and the Government of Ethiopia is working in creating accessibility.”

Dr. Meseret explicitly called up on the media to promote accessibility.

Wondimagen Bekele, one of the winners, said the award will make journalists motivated to work more on family planning.

DKT’s W/ro Emebet confirmed that DKT stands ready to help journalists in this area.

“DKT is always ready to avail journalists with any kind of information regarding the matter and we expect the media to own the issue and keep working on it,” said Emebet.

DKT Ethiopia is the largest provider of family planning in Ethiopia after the Government. Active in the country since 1989, DKT markets a full range of short- and long-term contraceptives, condoms and other maternal health products. Since inception, DKT Ethiopia has helped almost 50 million couples receive family planning as well as distributing 1.2 billion condoms. DKT Ethiopia is the first country office of DKT International, the Washington D.C. (USA) based non-profit that has offices in 24 countries and a sales presence in 60 countries (2019). DKT International is one of the largest private providers of family planning products in the world.