11 Ghanaian journalists win awards on infertility reporting

BY: graphic.com.gh
Zadok Kwame Gyesi (left) and Efia Akese
Zadok Kwame Gyesi (left) and Efia Akese

Two journalists of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) have won awards in the 2021 Merck Foundation's “More Than A Mother” media recognition awards.

They are Zadok Kwame Gyesi, who works with Graphic Online unit and Efia Akese of The Mirror newspaper.

Whereas Zadok Kwame Gyesi came first in the Online Category, Afia Akese came second in the Print Category. They are part of the 11 journalists from Ghana who have been selected to receive awards in the West African sub-region.

The Merck Foundation's “More Than A Mother” media recognition awards is an initiative by the Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany in partnership with African First Ladies, to recognise and appreciate African Journalists who have produced accurate, informative and compelling stories about infertility, infertile women or couples with the aim of raising awareness about infertility prevention.

The awards scheme is opened to all journalists from print, online, radio and multimedia platforms from English, French, Arabic, and Portuguese speaking African countries.

The winners in the various categories were announced in a release by the Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej, the Chief Executive Officer of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother, together with African First Ladies, who are also the Ambassadors of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ on January 12, 2022.

The theme for the 2021 awards is “Raising awareness about Infertility Prevention, Breaking Infertility Stigma, and Empowering Girls and Women through Education.”


In the Print Category, Dzifa Tetteh Tay from The Spectator (Ghana) and Ojoma Akor, Daily Trust Newspaper, (Nigeria) all shared the first place position.

The second place positions in the Print Category went to Jonathan Donkor of Ghanaian Times and Efia Akese of The Mirror, all from Ghana.

Similarly, a Ghanaian freelance journalist, Yaw Asirifi-Twum, took the third place position in the Print Category.

In the Online category, Never Garmah Lomo of Newspublictrust.com, (Liberia) and Zadok Kwame Gyesi, shared the first place position whilst Neta Kris Abiana Parsram and Emmanuel Kwasi Debrah from the Multimedia Group Limited, and Benedicta Gyimaah Folley of Ghanaian Times, all Ghanaian based journalists, all shared the second place position in that category.

The third place in the online category went to Agnes Opoku Sarong, also of New Times Corporation, (Ghana) and Bukola Afeni, Newsdayonline.com, (Nigeria).

For the Radio Category, Nyadror Adanuti Nelson of the Diamond FM, Tamale, (Ghana) came first whilst Never Garmah Lomo, Newspublictrust.com, (Liberia) came second.

In the Multimedia Category, the first position went to Alieu Ceesay, QTV Gambia, (The Gambia) whereas Ghana Broadcasting Corporation’s Akua Oforiwa Darko placed second.

Similarly, Beatrice Senadju, also of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation came third in the Multimedia Category.


Dr. Kelej congratulated all the winners on their contributions towards fighting stigmatisation against infertility as well as helping to raise awareness on infertility in Africa and the world as a whole.

“I appreciate all the efforts put in by the African media fraternity who became the voice of the voiceless to raise awareness about sensitive social and cultural issues such as Infertility stigma and girl education action, in the past year,” she said.

She added, “I have always emphasised the prominent role of media as I strongly believe that both media and art have the capacity and ability to create a culture shift in our communities in a cost-effective way. I welcome all the winners to be members of our Merck Foundation Alumni and work closely with us to support and empower women and girls at all levels.”


Winners in each category will be provided with a one-year access to an online educational training program called ‘MasterClass’.

The MasterClass is an immersive online experience and self-paced learning course that can be accessed anywhere with the Internet.

The CEO of the Merck Foundation More Than a Mother campaign further encouraged all the winners to be ‘Merck Foundation More Than A Mother Advocate’ to further raise awareness about infertility, eliminate the stigma around it and support girl education.