Dr Paul McMaster, President of Medicins Sans Frontieres UK, was one of three distinguished speakers who addressed a large group of students, medics and journalists on Tuesday night (6th June) at the inaugural Hippocratic Post Awards for Student Medical Journalism at City, University of London.
He and Dr Aroop Mozumder, the Dean of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries jointly presented the Best Humanitarian Story prize to Alejandro Contreras, who has just completed a MA course in International Journalism.
Dr McMaster, who spoke about the challenges face by MSF to work on the ground in places where governments may not want oversight, said that Mr Contreras had written a detailed and well researched piece focusing on a collaborative study between medical researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Colombian scientists shows hard evidence for a link between Zika and Guillain-Barré syndrome. He also commended the work of runner up, Carys Edwards, a MA student on the Magazine course, who write about The Milk of Human Kindness – how breast milk banks can help thousands of infants fight infection.
Professor Karol Sikora, an expert on cancer and the Dean of the Medical School at the University of Buckingham, talked about Cancer and the Media and also helped to judge the prize for Best Drug and Medical Innovation feature alongside Dr Aseem Malhotra and Barbara Rowlands, assistant professor at City’s Department of Journalism.
Barbara Rowlands awarded the prize to Charlotte Davey, MA in magazine journalism, who wrote about a new male contraception, Vasalgel.
The winner of the Carole Stone CBE Mental Health prize was Flora Carr, a MA student in investigative journalism who wrote about Starving the stigma – why we need to talk about eating disorders in orthodox Jewish communities. Carole Stone, one of the three founding directors of Hippocratic Post, awarded the prize in her own name. Dr Clare Gerada spoke about all three runners up and concluded that Flora’s piece had brought into the spotlight an important issue which had not been addressed before.
After the presentations and the prize giving, guests were given an opportunity to ask questions of the panel with Carole Stone acting as the moderator.
Thea Jourdan, founder of Hippocratic Post, then gave a short speech of thanks before inviting Hippocratic Post blogger and One Young World Ambassador Wangchuk Rapten to conclude the evening by talking about his own work as a medic and a Buddhist monk working to relieve the suffering of earthquake victims in Nepal. Mr Rapten had travelled all the way from Katmandhu to attend the award ceremony and only received his visa with 24 hours notice to arrange his flight.