Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Mozambique: Bring Rural Health Issues to National Attention


Savana reporter Salane Muchanga (left), a trainee of Knight Fellow Sayagues, interviews a Maputo resident on health concerns.

From her base at the weekly newspaper Savana in Maputo, Mozambique, Knight Health Journalism Fellow Mercedes Sayagues produced health coverage that transformed reporting at news organizations across the country.

She coached Savana journalists in the production of more than 200 stories, and the newspaper consistently produced high-quality coverage of issues ranging from alcohol abuse to malnutrition to reproductive health. The coverage increased the amount of attention other media outlets—such as the government-owned daily Noticias—now give to health issues.

Sayagues trained dozens of print and radio journalists—from the capital city Maputo to the most remote rural district, Mueda. The resulting stories brought to light the country’s harsh conditions and painfully poor health facilities. She also produced training resources such as a video on covering obstetric fistula, a disease resulting from poor reproductive health care that affects thousands of women across Africa.

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