From 24 October to 26 October 2022, 15 journalists from five Asian countries (Malaysia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal) attended a media workshop in Bangkok, Thailand organised by DNDi for health and science journalists from the region. The workshop was conducted on the sidelines of the International Congress of Tropical Medicine and Malaria (ICTMM 2022).
This three-day, fully funded media workshop was intended to give journalists a better understanding of the neglected diseases that are sensitive to climate change in the region and to hone their understanding of the scientific rationale behind efforts to develop treatments for these conditions. This is the second in-person media workshop help by DNDi, following its inaugural Kampala media workshop in 2018.
The session covered topics such as drug development, clinical trials/research, and a sneak peek into the diseases like dengue, visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, mycetoma, and hepatitis C. Disease experts emphasised the stigma and discrimination associated with these diseases in society and how they affect mental health. A special session was also organised for workshop participants with the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH) to discuss ways for reporters and scientists from the region to link up and support each other’s work.
The journalists were given special access to the International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria for one day including the official opening of the congress. Workshop participants attended sessions on dengue, malaria, HIV, lymphatic filariasis, and other diseases. They were also given a chance to interact with top officials of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited on their potential dengue vaccine.
The journalists visited the Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University in Bangkok where they interacted with the scientists and researchers at Siriraj Centre of Research Excellence in Dengue and Emerging Pathogens, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital. The Dean of Siriraj Hospital, Professor Dr Apichat Asavamongkolkul, addressed the journalists and talked about the contribution of the royal family of Thailand and future innovations the institute is planning to beat NTDs.
A selection of articles published by participants of the workshop
- The Island – Prof Malavige predicts dengue will get worse with climate change unless…
- The Daily Star – Could vaccines turn the tide in the fight against dengue?
- The Pioneer – WHO to COP27: Keep health at core of climate talks
- Bangkok Post – Experts cooperate in fighting NTDs
- The Pioneer – NTDs: High R&D investment need of the hour
- The Nation Thailand – Siriraj faculty researchers up the ante in battle against neglected tropical diseases like dengue
Participants of the media workshop
- Ms. Tharanya Arumugam, New Straits Times (NST), Malaysia
- Ms. Melisa Melina Binti Idris, ASTRO Awani, Malaysia
- Ms. Lim Sue Ann, BFM Radio, Malaysia
- Ms. Loh Foon Fong, Channel News Asia, Free Malaysia Today, Malaysia
- Ms. Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, Times of India, India
- Ms. Aliya Bashir Independent Journalist/Senior Multimedia Reporter, India
- Mr. Shakoor Ahmad Rather Press Trust of India (PTI), India
- Ms. Archana Jyoti, The Pioneer, Delhi, India
- Ms. Saumya Kalia, The Swaddle, India
- Ms. Jigyasa Mishra, Independent Journalist, India
- Mr. Moudud Ahhmed Sujan, The Daily Star, Bangladesh
- Mr. Ramu Sapkota, Himal, Nepali Times, and CIJ Nepal, Nepal
- Ms. Attanayake Mudiyanselage Dimuthu Chathurika Attanayake, Independent Journalist, Sri Lanka
- Mr. Rathindra Kuruwita, The Island, Sri Lanka
- Ms. Shreya Raman, Independent Journalist, India