Bay Area, CA – Comfort Mussa was the winner for the Excellence in Epilepsy Awards online category for her Global Press Institute article Epilepsy Myths Promote Stigma, Prevent Care in Cameroon (published on September 6, 2011).
The three award winners in print, broadcast and online reporting were selected out of nearly 50 submissions received from 24 countries and were announced by the International Bureau of Epilepsy and UCB on in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday, April 12. The award aims to raise awareness about epilepsy across the globe by recognizing journalists who have excelled in reporting on this often misunderstood condition. Epilepsy is the most common serious neurological condition and it affects up to 50 million people worldwide.
“Comfort Mussa tackled an important issue in Africa, the demonizing of epilepsy, and did so in a very compelling way,” said Joachim Mueller-Jung, a member of the judging panel and a writer and journalist with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in Germany. “The story explores how myths promote stigma and sheds light on the importance of sensitising the community to accept people with epilepsy to ensure optimal care.”
For Mussa, the most important thing is that the award brings more attention to the issue of epilepsy. “I am excited about the award because it brings to the global stage a story about people who otherwise cannot tell their story—the piece is a voice for the voiceless. I appreciate my editor, Maura Bogue, and am thankful to Cristi Hegranes for creating the GPI platform through which women around the world can practice solution-based journalism.”
“GPI is very proud of Comfort and the work she did to contribute to our series on epilepsy in Africa last year,” Hegranes said.
About the Excellence in Epilepsy Journalism Award
The award is a joint initiative of the IBE and UCB and is open to consumer, health and medical journalists writing for print, broadcast or online outlets. The articles submitted were judged by an international panel of seven who assessed them based on the following criteria: helps to increase the awareness and understanding of epilepsy; gives a voice to people with epilepsy; is conceptually or visually innovative and creative; is well structured, well researched and compelling; and uses language responsibly when reporting or writing on epilepsy.
About the Global Press Institute
Global Press Institute (GPI) uses journalism as a development tool to educate, employ and empower women, who produce high-quality local news coverage that elevates global awareness and ignites social change.
GPI is building a network of professional women journalists throughout the developing world who earn a fair wage for reporting on their local communities. Their unique coverage of issues overlooked by mainstream media contributes directly to the development and empowerment of their communities, brings greater transparency to their countries, and changes the way the world views their people and cultures.
GPI syndicates its original news content to partner outlets around the globe with the aim of increasing local and global access to the important stories covered by GPI reporters. As of 2011, more than five million people in 160 countries had access to GPI news coverage.