Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New resource on Hepatitis C for Journalists worldwide

The World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) on Tuesday launched a new initiative to help journalists report on the staggering toll of Hepatitis C (HCV) as well as the scientific and political barriers to treating the disease.

Launched on World Hepatitis Day (July 28, 2015), the new website www.wfsj.org/hepatitis/ presents resources written by journalists for journalists to expose the complex issues preventing effective prevention and treatment of the disease as well as a database of HCV experts from around the world who can be interviewed on a range of issues– from physician/scientists and patient groups, to public policy experts.

According to the World Federation of Science Journalists, the global disease burden of viral hepatitis is staggering.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 130-150 million people have chronic HCV worldwide, and most of them are not even aware they are infected.

People with chronic HCV have a high risk of developing serious life threatening liver diseases.

Despite the risk, there is relatively little media coverage of the HCV pandemic and the public remains largely uninformed about the transmission, detection, health risks, treatment prospects, and state of government health policy for HCV.

WFSJ Global Media Education Initiative www.wfsj.org/hepatitis/ now provides journalists around the world with the tools, data, and contacts to accurately explore the latest developments about the HCV crisis - from the latest research to the reasons why new treatments are not accessible to the majority of people suffering from the disease.
The resources are organized by theme and are specifically designed to help journalists provide strong and accurate coverage of HCV.

The modules also include video interviews with leading experts including Charles Gore (President, Word Hepatitis Alliance), Dr. Michel-Pawlotsky (Professor of Medicine, University of Paris-Est), and Dr. Karine Lacombe (Assistant Professor, Infectious and tropical Diseases, Saint-Antoine Hospital (AP-HP)).

According the new website www.wfsj.org/hepatitis, the World Federation of Science Journalists is also launching a new database of viral Hepatitis experts from around the world who speak different languages.

This database will be regularly updated and expanded. These expert sources vetted by the WFSJ are appointed to serve on the database for a period of one year at a time, and have expressed a willingness to share their expertise and insights into viral hepatitis with the media.

Damien Chalaud, Executive Director of the World Federation of Science Journalists says — “This initiative marks a unique opportunity for journalists to not only learn about HCV, but to produce stories that will make an impact. The content and resources are specifically designed to help journalists produce accurate yet compelling reports about this complex human story, with its public health policy and socio-economic perspectives. We believe it will enable journalists to look deeper into the topic and change the way they approach the HCV narrative”.

Canadian health columnist André Picard (Globe and Mail), Poul Brich Eriksen (Former Executive Producer and Special Correspondent, Danish Broadcasting Corporation) and Dr. Roberta Villa (Health communicator and journalist. Health Editor, Zadig) wrote the education modules. Penny Park (Executive Director, Science Media Centre of Canada) was the acting program editor and reviewer.

The program was developed in partnership with the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) and supported by a seed donation from AbbVie.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Nairobi City Joins Global Climate Change Action Commitment.

By Charles Ogallo.

Nairobi is among 402 cities across the world that have registered their commitments to the global long term climate change action as part of growing ambitions towards this year’s United Nations climate change conference in Paris.

Nairobi has also committed to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency as well as set green house gas emission reduction goals by 2030.

The commitments comes as Kenya declares again to focus more on clean energy production in the country in order to benefit from what green economy offers.

Speaking Monday during this year’s Madaraka Day celebration at the heart of the city, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said his government has put in place plans to ensure one million more Kenyan households are connected to locally produced electricity.

“My government will focus more on production of clean energy as we continue to meet energy demands in the country” said President Kenyatta.

Since inception of Kenyatta Government in 2013, a lot has happened in terms of lighting up slum areas within and outside the capital city Nairobi with solar and other clean energy supply.

The online portal is designed to showcase several inspiring developments within the scope of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda and catalyze public –private sector action on climate change before and after 2020, when the Paris universal climate agreement will take effect.

The commitments from cities , businesses and investors housed and showcased in an updated version of of the Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action-NAZCA portal - http://climateaction.unfccc.int/- will also add critical momentum towards the new universal climate agreement in December.

The NAZCA portal was originally launched at COP 20 in Lima where Peru’s Environment Minister and President of last year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, said the Nazca lines symbolize connection, action and movement.

The online registration process – in partnership with CDP, the Carbon Climate Registry and Global Investors on Climate Change – provides a simple system for ensuring that climate commitments are registered with the UN in time for Paris.

More Calls for Radical Shift in News Presentation.


Journalists challenged to learn to write and publish news on mobile and other wearable devices while maintaining media and journalism ethics.

Participants in this year's World  News Congress in Washington DC believe that a radical shift in News presentation was urgently required to ensure modern day journalists conform to the fast changing consumer habits.

The professionals including prominent editors and media experts from across the globe warn that many jorunalists are doom to perish unless they evolve fast and embrace new technologies.

For more details click; http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2000164237/journalists-urged-to-go-digital-or-perish

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Call for Application for Media 21 Africa: Journalism and climate change


The call for applications is aimed at media organisations, independent journalists and/or bloggers based in Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar who wish to develop or enhance their content in relation to subjects associated with the environment and global warming.

The project Media 21 Africa : Journalism and climate change aims to inform and raise awareness among the African media of the issues and opportunities at the Paris Climate 2015 conference.

 The conference COP21, or Paris Climate 2015, will take place from 30 November to 11 December 2015.

For more details;

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Is Ebola Outbreak a Global Health Disaster?

By Charles Ogallo.

Fear of Ebola Outbreak has engulfed the entire world with increasing cases of infections and death from the deadly virus being reported daily across Africa.

Health workers across the globe have been put on high alert as World Health Organization WHO classifies several countries in Africa mainly West Africa as high risk areas for the deadly Ebola stain.

West African nations have been struggling to control both the deadly outbreak and the fear it has created.

WHO at a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday named Kenya among African nations vulnerable to Ebola outbreak as a result of being major transport hubs in the region receiving 76 flights a week.

The U.N. health agency says 1,013 people have died so far in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa of the 1,848 suspected or confirmed cases recorded by authorities. The killer virus is spread by direct contact with bodily fluids like blood, diarrhea and vomit.

However more questions than answers are being raised as to whether the current Ebola strain could have come from illegally-trafficked apes.

According to Mongabay.org, the original explanation for the virus breaking out in this remote part of southeastern Guinea, near the borders of Sierra Leone and Liberia, was that people had eaten infected bush-meat.

"Fruit bats are thought to be the natural reservoir of all strains of Ebola virus, and they can pass it on to other species in various ways, including through their feces, dropping pieces of half-eaten fruit that other animals eat, or by being butchered and eaten themselves as bush-meat" Says the report.
Read more at                                

Saturday, January 18, 2014

UN Climate Technology Centre and Network gets New Director.

Published by KOJANEWS.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced on Friday the appointment of Jukka Uosukainen as the Director of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). 

The CTCN, the operational arm of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Technology Mechanism, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resilience to changing weather patterns, drought, soil erosion, and other impacts of climate change in developing nations.
CTCN Center in Finland

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), congratulated Mr. Uosukainen and said that CTCN is now ready to fulfill its mandate by assisting developing countries to make informed decisions about mitigation and adaptation technologies that suit their needs. 

“With the appointment of its new Director, the Climate Technology Centre and Network is now ready to make a substantive contribution to accelerating the use of existing and new technologies that can lead the way towards a low-carbon future and improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in developing countries, who are dealing with climate change impacts in their daily lives.” said Mr. Steiner. 

The CTCN aims to overcome the historic challenges of mobilizing funds and eliminating policy and technical barriers to promote accelerated, diversified and scaled-up transfer of environmentally sound technologies for climate change mitigation and adaptation, consistent with the national socio-economic and sustainable development priorities of the requesting countries.
Jukka Uosukainen.

Mr. Jukka Uosukainen has worked in the national and international environmental sector for more than two decades, chairing and facilitating various UN committees, including of the UNFCCC and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). More recently, he served as the Special Envoy for Climate Change for the Government of Finland. 

Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) also welcomed Jukka Uosukainen appointment saying his leadership will proceed to realize CTCN goal of accelerating and scaling-up clean energy, energy efficiency and technologies that can assist in combating and coping with climate change.

 “I would like to congratulate Jukka Uosukainen for being chosen for this important role” she said. 
Christiana Figueres-UNFCCC boss

“As nations work towards a new universal climate agreement in 2015, the fully operational CTCN provides an important signal that the global infrastructure to combat climate change is in place and can deliver," added Ms Figueres. 

Expected outcomes of the CTCN's work are reduced greenhouse gas emission intensity and climate vulnerability as well as improved local innovative capacities. Private and public investment in adaptation and mitigation will be mobilized on a greater scale and collaboration and peer learning on technology transfer and deployment across and within developing countries will be the norm. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Guidebook for Climate Change Journalists in Africa Released.

Published by Kojanews.

The Book produced by UNESCO responds to a real need in African journalists reporting of complex phenomenon of Climate Change.

The Book entitled Climate Change in Africa; a guidebook for Journalists also answers to many needs of Africa Journalists especially the scientific interpretations of climate change, in-depth information on climate change,Tips for journalists reporting on climate change and sourcing for climate change stories using data.

For more details click http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/G03710.pdf?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Its a win-win for CDM as COP19 ends in Warsaw,Poland.

By Charles Ogallo.

The 19th Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol came to an end in Warsaw City of Poland with a thumb up from delegates over Clean Development Mechanism.

This follows an agreement that Parties make greater use of the clean development mechanism -CDM to ensure the continued success of the mechanism beyond the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol with regard to its contribution to the achievement of the objective of the convention.

The over 2000 delegates expressed satisfaction with the success of the clean development mechanism in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, which to date has been responsible for over 7,300 project activities being registered in over 90 countries.

1,500 components project activities have also been included in over 230 programmes of activities registered in more than 60 countries where over 1.4 billion certified emission reductions being issued for an investment of over USD 215 billion.

Concerns were however raised over current price fluctuation in the global carbon market in regards to difficult market situation currently faced by participants in the clean development mechanism and the consequent loss of institutional capacity related to the mechanism, both of which are threatening the value of the clean development mechanism as a tool for Parties to collaborate in achieving the objective of the Convention.

The Executive Board of the clean development mechanism was significantly commended for the substantial work undertaken over the past year which led to the success of the mechanism in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol