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Four international journalists start our residence programme in November

They will take a deep dive into the world of infectious diseases and international health at ITM


Image 1/1 : Chibuike Alagboso (top left), Karuana Mwai (bottom left), Samik Kharel (top right), Lungelo Ndhlovu (bottom right)

2021 marks the eighth edition of the journalist-in-residence programme of the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (ITM), Belgium. The programme offers journalists from Africa, Asia and Latin America the opportunity to deepen their understanding of topical issues in tropical medicine and global health.

Four candidates have been invited for an (online) residency that coincides with the 62nd edition of the ITM Colloquium, which will be hosted by our partner institution, the University of Pretoria. The event focuses on emerging and re-emerging epidemics with a special focus on neglected tropical and zoonotic diseases.

The selected journalists will interact with world experts on a wide range of topics in biomedical sciencesclinical sciences and public health. They will report on the themes of the Colloquium and other topical health challenges. The Journalist-in-Residence initiative is part of ITM’s capacity building programme in developing countries, financed by the Belgian Directorate-General for Development (DGD).

Chibuike Alagboso (top left) is a health journalist at Nigeria Health Watch, a health communication and advocacy organisation in Nigeria. His works have been republished by the Thompson Reuters Foundation, AllAfrica, Voice Male Magazine, Action Health Incorporated, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Chibuike is interested in multimedia storytelling, big data, artificial intelligence and how these contribute to improved public health policies and outcomes. One of his topics for the ITM residency is how scientists can support the fight against infodemics during disease outbreaks.

Karuana Mwai (bottom left) is a health and science journalist currently living and working in Nairobi, Kenya. Her coverage of health, climate change, environment, culture, human rights, and education has appeared in the Star News Paper, Opera News Software, and Kenya Free Press. At ITM, Karuana will mainly focus on COVID-19 disruptions on the burden of malaria, especially in maternal and child health.

Samik Kharel (top right) is a freelance journalist and writer based in Kathmandu. He has contributed to various national and international media outlets including The Kathmandu Post, Al Jazeera and DPA among others. Kharel is very keen about technologies and their intersection with basic human necessities like healthcare. During his residency, he will focus on neglected tropical diseases (e.g.  cholera) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine access for marginalized communities.

Lungelo Ndhlovu (bottom right) is an award-winning international  journalist based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. His work has appeared in the Thomson Reuters Foundation, The Chronicle, Zenger News, International Journalist Network, and Africa Science Magazine. The topics he would like to cover during the ITM residency include COVID-19-malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa and its effects on healthcare, the largest COVID-19 clinical trial in Africa and drug-resistant tuberculosis.

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