The role of media on critical health issues: supporting health and development in Tanzania

The trip entailed two days of activities including a full day training session of Tanzanian reporters, coordinated and implemented by Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and a half-day Town Hall meeting with representatives from the Public and Private Sector, reporters and CEOs from major media entities, with the support of three major international broadcasting Agencies: Agence Exterieur de la France (AEF), Deutsche Welle (DW) and Voice of America (VOA).

About thirty reporters from every type of media attended the training session and 100 people attended the half day Town Hall.

The training sessions included presentations by health experts, media experts from Tanzania and from Deutsche Welle, Radio France Internationale and Voice of America, as well as PRB. The Town Hall event was officially opened by the Deputy Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Seif Suleiman Rashid who highlighted the important role that the media plays in communicating responsible and educated health messages to their audiences. Welcoming remarks were provided by Alise Cameron, Health Team Leader of USAID Tanzania, the Deputy Ambassador of the German Republic, Mr. Hans Koeppel and the Ambassador of France, Marcel Escure.


The main topics of the Town Hall were “The Role of Broadcasters in Supporting Health Reporting in an Ever Evolving Media Environment” and “New Media Technology: Breaking Through Barriers in Delivering Information”.

Representatives of large media houses in Tanzania such VOA’s affiliates Radio Free Africa, Mlimani Radio, Coconut Radio and Breeze FM created a lively and intense discussion that lead to a successful program. These two events are the first on a series of Town Halls and Training sessions planned under the USAID two-year grant given to the VOA Swahili Service to help improve the understanding and knowledge around maternal and child health issues and educating young girls about early pregnancy and reproductive health in general.

Attendees included:

  1. Keynote Speech: Dr. Seif Suleiman Rashid, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare.
  2. Gustavo Win, Broadcasting Board of Governors/ Voice of America;
  3. H.E. Marcel Escure French Ambassador
  4. Germany Deputy Ambassador Mr. Hans Koeppel
  5. Alice Cameron, Health Team Leader at USAID Tanzania

Panel I – “The Role of Broadcasters in Supporting Health Reporting in an Ever Evolving Media Environment”


  1. Reginald Mengi: Chairman, Media Owners Association of Tanzania (MOAT)
  2. Anne Marie Capomaccio, head of News – RFI
  3. Maxence Melo: Founding Director Jamiiforums
  4. Gustavo Win – VOA Representative
  5. Sam Elangaloor : Chief Executive Officer
  6. Mohammed Khelef: DW

 Panel II – “New Media Technology: breaking through barriers in delivering information”


  1. Colombo O’Daud – Country Manager, Irish AID
  2. Dr Salim Abdulla Director General Ifakara Health Research Institute
  3. Joseph Ngwegwe – Program Coordinator TWAWEZA
  4. Minou Fuglesang – FEMiNA Youth Magazine and TV program director
  5. Mrs. Kezia Kapesa Executive Director  Private Nurses Association of Tanzania