The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) re-cently handed out its awards for Excellence in Health Journalism for the years 2004 and 2005 and eight journalists were honoured.
At a simple ceremony at Cara Lodge last Saturday, PAHO handed out the awards during its one-day seminar on Avian Influenza which aimed at improving coverage of public health issues among local journalists.
Stabroek News journalists Iana Seales, Oluatoyin Samantha Alleyne, George Gomes, Andre Haynes and Christopher Yaw were among the awardees. Melanie Allicock of Kaieteur News; Jasminie Sahoye and Shirley Thomas both of Guyana Chronicle also received prizes.
Seales won in the Best News Story category for 2005 with an article titled, 'No evidence of widespread Leptospirosis' and was also awarded second place in the Best Feature Story 2005 category for 'Abortions still not being offered at public hospitals'.
She won a third prize for a second place finish in the Best Feature Story 2004 for 'A dying HIV/AIDS mother's one wish'.
Gomes grabbed two third place finishes for entries in 2005. One of his stories was titled 'Media re-engaged in fight against HIV/AIDS'.
Haynes was awarded first place in a special category on HIV/AIDS in 2005 for his article, 'Growing need seen to protect HIV persons - disability should be re-defined to include virus'. Yaw was secured a second place finish in the same year with his story, 'Conservancy may be leaking' in another special category.
In 2004, Alleyne was awarded Best Feature Story with 'Hinterland campaign looks to nip cervical cancer in the bud'. She was awarded a second prize in the Best News Story category.