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Public Health (01-02-2012)

Winners of 3rd EU Health Prize for Journalists from United Kingdom, Hungary, Slovenia and Poland

Last night, at an award ceremony in Brussels, the winners of the third EU Health Prize for Journalists (2011) were announced. Among nearly 500 articles submitted, the EU Jury have chosen the four best articles on key health topics.

The 1st Prize on the Europe for Patients theme was awarded to Ben Hirschler and Kate Kelland from the United Kingdom. Their winning article on antimicrobial resistance "When the drugs don't work", published by Reuters, puts the spotlight on the emerging healthcare disaster of "super-bugs" – a subject where there is a clear lack of awareness, even amongst healthcare professionals.

The 2nd Prize on the Europe for Patients theme was awarded to Rita Makarész from Hungary for her article "The cheapest antidepressant". This article, published on the health portal www.orvostkeresek.hu, highlights a widespread mental health issue (depression) and the benefits of exercise. The positive message in this article can be easily understood and put into practice by anyone.

The 3rd Prize on the Europe for Patients theme was awarded to Mateja Grošelj, from Slovenia for her article "From Lojze to Ludvika", published in the Vecer Weekly newspaper. This article on the most frequent cancer amongst women, breast cancer, explores the subject from an unusual, but interesting angle. It tackles the issue in a holistic and innovative manner.

The Special Prize on smoking cessation was awarded to Monika Cetera from Poland for her web article "I've come here to have my teeth treated, not to quit smoking" which details an unpleasant but lesser known harmful effect of smoking - poor oral health. The article, published on www.jaw.pl, also documents the related financial costs.

The EU Health Prize for Journalists aims to showcase and reward the work of journalists from across the EU that raises awareness on important health issues that affect our lives. The main theme of the Prize was the ' Europe for Patients' campaign, which comprises a wide range of healthcare and patient safety-related topics. In addition, this year's competition included a special prize for articles on smoking cessation, a topic linked to the Commission's priority work to fight tobacco.

The selection of the winners was a two-step process. National juries selected a national finalist and a finalist from the special category smoking cessation. The EU jury, composed of European Commission officials, public heath experts and journalists then convened in Brussels to decide on the 4 winning articles. All finalists were invited to Brussels to attend a Media Seminar and Award Ceremony. The value of the prizes awarded were € 6 000 for 1st place, € 2500 for 2nd place, € 1 500 for 3rd place and € 3 000 for the special prize.

For more information about the EU Health Prize for Journalists and to read the winning articles and the shortlisted articles, please refer to the dedicated website:
http://ec.europa.eu/health-eu/journalist_prize/2011/index_en.htm