in Residence

Since 2014, the Institute of Tropical Medicine yearly invites a journalist from Africa, Asia or Latin America for a residency of several weeks. While in Antwerp, they deepen their understanding of tropical medicine and global health issues.

The initiative is part of an extensive programme of sustainable scientific, medical and veterinary capacity building in the South with support from the Belgian Directorate-General for Development (DGD).

The programme offers a unique opportunity for reporters, producers, and editors to work on an exciting project in the realm of tropical medicine and global health (a documentary, or a series of articles, for instance). They interact with world experts in a wide range of topics in biomedical sciences, clinical sciences and public health.

ITM journalists-in-residence have time to explore diverse areas or delve deeply into a single topic. They are also welcome to participate in a variety of scientific meetings, seminars and other learning experiences, as well as enjoy quiet time for reading and independent study.

4 journalists-in-residence land in Antwerp

Since 2014 the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) located in Antwerp has invested annually in a journalist from the global south. The Communication Department of the ITM issues a call to journalists for invitations to learn about scientific and health topics of their choice during a stay in Antwerp. A special edition of the journalist-in-residence programme took place in 2017, as a result of the European Congress for Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH2017), which brought some 1,500 participants from all over the world to Antwerp.

Taking advantage of this, the ITM gave four journalists the opportunity to participate in the programme. The call brought more than 100 registrations from around the world. After a strict selection process, four journalists were chosen: Serusha Govendor from South Africa, Dawood Shah from Pakistan, Andrew Mambondiyani from Zimbabwe and Mohamadou Houmfa from Cameroon.


The South African Serusha Govendor stayed in Antwerp for four weeks. She reported on various ITM topics and projects and displayed her skills as a video journalist during the week of ECTMIH2017. Daily, she produced and presented a video report of the highlights of that conference day. She closed her stay with an inspiring speech during the final event of ECTMIH2017.

Dawood Shah from Pakistan resided in Antwerp for two weeks. He went deeper into the question of access to good-quality medicines. For this, he interviewed ITM researchers, but he also seized this opportunity to interview experts on the topic during the ECTMIH2017 conference. Just as Andrew Mambondiyani, Dawood himself was also interviewed by, the newest platform of the Belgian Federal Public Service for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, also known as FPS Foreign Affairs.

Andrew Mambondiyani from Zimbabwe and Mohamadou Houmfa from Cameroon came to Antwerp during the week in which ECTMIH2017 occurred. They reported extensively about the conference and they interviewed various experts who were present there. Andrew wrote for online news sites while Mohamadou conducted interviews for his radio programme on VOA Africa.

Esther Nakkazi

Esther is a freelance reporter specialised in science and technology. She comes from Uganda, were she teaches media training and mentored African science journalists. She has has an active blog called 'Uganda ScieGirl' where she blogs about clinical and biomedical sciences and public health.

At ITM, Esther increased her knowledge about health policy, health economics and communications while interacting with scientists and the various services of the institute.


Bharathi Ghanashyam

Bharathi Ghanashyam is an experienced journalist from India. Bharathi been a development writer for over a decade and has documented development interventions on health, gender, environment, waste management and others.

She has also worked to mainstream development communication through the media for an equal number of years. She has brought special focus through her writing to health issues such as TB, HIV, mental health and primary healthcare.

Bharathi is the founder and editor of Journalists against TB, a blog comprised of health journalists committed to writing on the disease.


Diana Wangari

is a medical student and journalist from Kenya. From October to December 2014 she spent her elective period at university as journalist in residence at ITM. She looks back at this experience in a series of "Memories of Antwerp":


Journalists in Residence