Just retired Spokesman of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Abubakar Jimoh, has instituted a health journalism award for Nigerian journalists to immortalise his only brother, a seasoned medical practitioner who died of cardiac arrest in 2022, at the age of 53.
The annual award, christened Dr Abdul Aziz Anako Fache (DAAF) Memorial Health Journalism Award was unveiled by Dr. Jimoh during a lecture and award ceremony organized in his honour by the Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) in Abuja.
According to Dr. Jimoh, who recently retired after serving for over 30 years as the Spokesman of NAFDAC, the award is aimed at celebrating excellence in Health journalism in both Print and Electronic media in Nigeria.
According to him, entries for the two categories of awards which carry a monetary prize of N250,000 for each beneficiary, will take effect from March 2024 while the award ceremony will hold in September.
Dr Jimoh said the annual merit award was instituted in honour of Dr Fache to promote hard work, dedication, diligence, and excellence in health reporting in Nigeria.
“Dr Fache was a multi-talented scholar, seasoned medical doctor, Lawyer and Author of Literary works. This award will help reduce the pain and shock that trailed the rreparable loss of the rare Gem,”Dr Jimoh said.
Meanwhile, a close friend of the Fache family, Hajiya Memunah Aliyu, who is former Executive Director of Aso Savings and Loans Limited, raised the monetary value of the award with the donation of N500,000 to the prize money attached to the winning entries.
According to Dr Jimoh, the awards fund will continue to increase as more donors have made pledges.
Speaking earlier in her lecture, the Executive Director of International Society for Media in Public Health (ISMPH), Chief Moji Makanjuola, called on journalists in Nigeria to move from what she described as “event journalism to investigative journalism.”
She insisted that health journalists occupy a sensitive position in the country because, adding also that Nigerians rely on the mass media for regular health information.
She commended the retired Spokesman of NAFDAC, Dr. Jimoh for his hard work and dedication which she said, made NAFDAC a household name in Nigeria.
Moji called on experts in the health sector to work closely with the health journalists to ensure Nigerians get the right information that will help them make informed decision concerning their health.
Speaking, the President of ANHEJ, Mr Joseph Kadiri, commended the worthy efforts of the Fache Family and urged other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate this kind gesture.