SRINAGAR: Greater Kashmir health correspondent Zehru Nissa bagged ICFJ’s Global Health Reporting Award 2017 for one of her reports. She is one of the six reporters to get the award.

Zehru Nissa with the ICFJ officials after receiving the award

ICFJ said Zehru Nissa Shah revealed in her series of reports the dismal state of maternity care in rural areas in the state of Kashmir. In Miscarriage of Rural Maternity Services, she reports that 44 of the state’s 60 largest hospitals have only one obstetrician-gynecologist, and no one to back them up on weekends or evenings. In another article, At Overburdened LD Hospital, Patient Privacy a Casualty, Shah describes how two or three mothers are forced to share a hospital bed, while newborns are housed in corridors, leading to the spread of infections. After her stories were published, government health officials told Shah they are planning to have gynecologists on duty 24/7 at some hospitals. Shah is a senior correspondent at the newspaper, Greater Kashmir.

“A distinguished panel of judges selected the six winners from more than 130 submissions. The program is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson,” the ICFJ said. “The reporters visited Washington, DC, Atlanta and New York this fall as part of a 12-day study tour to meet with medical experts and health journalists. Each winner received a $1,000 cash prize.”

The Global Health Reporting Contest, according to ICFJ, now in its fourth year, has increased the quality and quantity of news coverage on key health issues in targeted regions across the globe. ICFJ honored the winners in an awards ceremony on September 18, 2017 at The New York Times.

In Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has felicitated Zehru Nissa for bagging the prestigious International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) Global Health Reporting Award 2017.

GK Health Correspondent with other five winners of the award and the ICFJ officials in New York Times office.

In her felicitation message, Mehbooba said she was happy to see J&K’s young boys and girls emerging with flying colours in various fields and bringing laurels to the State.

Congratulating Zehru Nissa for the award, Mehbooba said she has become a great inspiration for her colleagues in and outside the State. “I wish this enterprising young journalist best of luck for her career in journalism,” she said and hailed Greater Kashmir management for providing the young lady with the opportunity to make a mark in the field of journalism.

Mehbooba stressed the need for increased participation of JK’s girls in the field of journalism to effectively raise the gender and societal issues confronting the State’s women. She said women journalists need encouragement and a conducive office environment to exhibit their talent in a secure and comfortable environment.

“Some women journalists have complained to me that most of the newspaper and media offices in J&K don’t have the basic facility of a separate washroom for the female staff,” she said and added that the media offices should at least provide this indispensable basic facility for the female journalists to work comfortably.

The Chief Minister said she would ask the Director Information to explore the possibility of constructing dedicated rest room and washroom facilities for female journalists both at Press Colony in Srinagar and at Press Club Jammu.

She said the media must come forward to sensitively deal with the image of women and effectively disseminate achievements by JK’s women in different fields.


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