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.

Three talented women took part in the journalist-in-residence programme

In October 2018 Sokummono Khan from Cambodia, Dewi Safitri from Indonesia and Marielba Nuñez from Venezuela stayed in Antwerp for several weeks.
Mono is an ambitious young journalist who writes for Voice of America and is immersed in antibiotic resistance.
Marielba is a seasoned correspondent for and El Nacional, a national newspaper of Venezuela and wrote about malaria. Venezuela is dealing with a humanitarian emergency where controlled diseases, such as malaria, have reemerged.
Dewi is an experienced science journalist who works for CNN Indonesia. She is writing a long read about dengue, which accounts for more than 1200 fatalities per year in Indonesia.


4 journalists-in-residence land 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). ITM gave four journalists the opportunity to participate in the programme. Serusha Govendor from South Africa, Dawood Shah from Pakistan, Andrew Mambondiyani from Zimbabwe and Mohamadou Houmfa from Cameroon were chosen out of over a hundred candidates.


  • The South African Serusha Govendor produced and presented a video report of the highlights of the ECTMIH2017 conference daily.
  • Dawood Shah went deeper into the question of access to good-quality medicines. He interviewed ITM researchers and experts on the topic during the ECTMIH2017 conference.
  • Andrew Mambondiyani from Zimbabwe and Mohamadou Houmfa from Cameroon reported extensively about the conference. 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