Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Kenya: Promote Better Health Coverage, Better Policies

The Kenya Alliance of Health and Science Reporters (KAHSR), a journalism association launched by Knight International Journalism Fellow Rachel Jones, now offers regular training workshops and resources on topics such as new vaccines, children’s health and agricultural research. The association is supported by a grant from the London-based Wellcome Trust. At Alliance workshops, journalists can interact with the country’s leading medical researchers and scientists.

Jones also helped editors and reporters to produce high-quality health reports in leading Kenyan newspapers and magazines, such as the influential East African, the Daily Nation and The Star. The East African ran a special eight-page section on pneumonia, with Jones’ guidance.

Health experts credited media coverage of the new vaccine with boosting turnout in a children’s vaccination campaign. Pneumonia claims the lives of an estimated 30,000 youngsters in Kenya each year. Jones and KAHSR have been asked to lead health training programs sponsored by the World Health Organization, Save the Children UK and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. These trainings are building a strong reputation for the organization.

Our Stories


  • Aug 102010

    Carpe Diem: Covering Health In Kenya Post Referendum

    Two days after Kenyans defied expectations and peacefully, purposefully approved a new Constitution, I was processing two powerful emotions.

    The first one mirrored my overall mindset during the 2008 US Presidential Election, when the chance to participate in an historic event was literally intoxicating. Being able to fly home from my ICFJ Kenya program base to vote only heightened the excitement. I know many Kenyans are feeling that same tidal wave of impact at defying the naysayers through the power of the ballot.

    But the other sensation I’m feeling is deep relief.

  • Mar 182009

    Knight Fellow visits Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Kenya

    Editors Note: Rachel Jones visits Maai Mahiu Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Kenya.When I agreed to accompany Nairobi Star Reporter Wacui Makori to the Maai Mahiu Internally Displaced Persons Camp, the date of our journey didn’t register initially. But waking up on the morning of Friday, March 13th, the irony hit me right between the eyes.

    My first trip to an IDP camp occurred on July 7, 2007—7/7/07, which was considered a “lucky” day around the world.

  • Jan 292009

    Explosion rocks newspaper office -- and a journalist's instinct kicks in

    Editors Note: Fire in downtown Nairobi causes scare.The first time the lights went out during this morning’s news meeting, it was just a minor annoyance. Ditto the second time. After all, at Nation Media Group headquarters in the heart of downtown Nairobi, you can expect a powerful generator to kick in quickly whenever there’s a power outage. It’s already happened several times during my six-month tenure as a Knight Health Journalism Fellow based at the Nation Centre.


  • Knight Fellow Rachel Jones tells ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan about helping Kenyan journalists track government spending on health services.