MESHA trains members on mobile journalism as a holistic form of story telling

A media association, they say, is as good as its members.

For an association to prosper and keep on soaring, it must listen to the changing needs of her
members. And so, when members of our association, the Media for Environment, Science,
Health and Agriculture (MESHA), requested, through our very active members only WhatsApp
group for a training on mobile journalism (MOJO) last December, the leadership led by our
Secretary, Aghan Daniel, listened.

“We have to keep on with the demands of a dynamic and ever evolving media landscape, print,
online and radio lest our association becomes a dinosaur,” said Aghan during the opening of the
training held from March 31- April 1, 2022.

The training targeted journalists with a revolutionary approach to telling science stories in
keeping with a fast paced world.

Members, 15 of them, were introduced to the MOJO concept and its elements. Trainees heard
that MOJO is an all around multimedia solo reporting act in which the smartphone serves as a
complete production unit for collecting, editing and disseminating news.

Emmanuel Yegon, a multi-media journalist unpacked MOJO as the most critical tool for
journalists as it helps transcend many challenges facing journalists.

Yegon trained through a highly interactive classroom setting that included lectures, question and
answer sessions as well as practical assignments. He first unpacked MOJO as a form of digital
storytelling where a smartphone is used to collect or create data in audio, images and videos.
The smartphone is further used to edit collected or created content and to disseminate content. As
a full production unit, there is no limit on how far one can go to collect news, features and
relevant information.

He trained journalists on what he termed as a “new workflow for media storytelling where
reporters are trained and equipped for being fully autonomous.”

The first day of training was anchored on two key factors. First, that MOJO enables reporters to
undertake multiple production and content distribution activities using one single device.
Second, the audience have access to the same means of producing content allowing for them to
similarly consume content through mobile devices. As such, MOJO is a cross-platform and
digital innovation approach within the reach of reporters in far flung areas.

Participants discussed storyboarding, or story planning using mobile devices. They were also
taken through elements of a practical MOJO toolkit which includes a quality smartphone, a
microphone, a simple LED light, a power bank and tripod.

The trainees were also taken through the dos and don’ts of MOJO including not zooming while
recording images or collecting videos. Reporters were further taken through tips in image
orientation and direction. They were advised not to mix both landscape and portrait images while
creating content.

The viability of taking photos, videos, audio and graphics, editing and uploading to their
respective newsroom servers were also discussed. The trainer encouraged reporters to own or
have access to a smartphone and to develop skills on MOJO as this is the new frontier of content
creation, production and dissemination.

MOJO, in essence, participants heard, is a solo media production unit. Practical sessions
included how a lone journalist can use a single mobile devise to tell their story, from breaking
news, news features to more timeless human interest stories.

Reporters saw firsthand how they can achieve the greatest value from their smart phones as a
production studio in their pockets. This form of reporting is a cost effective platform, portable
and convenient.

For investigative reporters, it is a safe platform to discreetly collect information without
detection. By the same token, MOJO can help a journalist to stay safe when recording sensitive

MOJO is also flexible and a journalist can produce content at a faster pace. Reporters were also
taken through video recording apps or camera apps that can help them capture quality images.
By further connecting their smartphone to an external microphone, they can record quality
sound. This, Yegon says, is akin to putting an entire production unit in the pocket. More
importantly, an entire newsroom can put these simple device production units in the hands of
more journalists.

“Those lessons were the most interesting thing I had been through in the recent past,” said Rachel
Kibui from Nakuru. Her counterpart from Kitui, in Eastern Kenya, Nzengu Musembi added that
“the sessions were pretty educative. From this training, I can see myself being a competent
mobile journalist.”

By Joyce Chimbi


Biodiversity: Experts urge the public to embrace and protect insects/over 500 edible insects’ species in Africa

Biodiversity champions in Kenya and Africa have called on Kenyans to embrace and protect insects saying that they are very key in maintaining the ecosystem.

The head of Technology Transfer Unit at the International Centre of Insect, physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) Dr.Niassy Saliu said many insects which are playing key roles like pollination, decomposition of nutrient in the soil and also used as food might soon be extinct because they are not protected.

Dr.Niassy said many people have ignored the roles played by insects in the society adding that besides helping in issues of pollination, nutrient decomposition, some insects are used as food for humans. He said insects are very rich in nutrients like protein, zinc among others.

The head of Technology Transfer Unit at the International Centre of Insect, Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) said countries like Europe have embraced insects by even creating laws to protect insects, adding that the majority of the people are eating insects.

Dr.Niassy said such laws protecting insects which have been developed in some countries are also very necessary in Kenya adding that the people in Kenya should value the insects.

In Africa, there are over 500 edible insects while globally over 1900 insects’ species are eaten.

Among the edible insects in Africa include legend termite, spiders, beetles, mantids, flies,plant bugs,wasps;moth/butterflies ,dragonflies  and grasshoppers

By George Juma.

Migori County.

1st MARCH 2022.


Protect us from the pandemic, people with NCDs urge State

By Mike Mwaniki I


People living with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Kenya have urged the government to urgently implement measures to protect them from the virus.


The caucus of lobby groups of people with NCDs said the government should prioritize their needs because they at a higher risk of COVID-19 infections and deaths.


Led by Africa Sickle Cell Organization CEO, Lea Kilenga and Renal Patients’ Society of Kenya Chairman John Gikonyo, the caucus urged the government to place those living with NCDs at the center of the COVID-19 response.


“The Government should build a resilient supply chain of essential NCDs medicines and commodities by ensuring their availability, affordability and accessibility at Primary Health Care facilities,” said the consortium in a statement.


The caucus said those living with NCDs who are unable to physically visit health facilities and pharmacies should be supported to access the medication and other commodities.


“The Health and Labor and Social Protection ministries, through the National Emergency Response Committee should include those living with NCDs among the vulnerable population eligible for the COVID-19 kitty as well as social protection benefits,” said the caucus in a statement to the media.


The NCD caucus comprises 30 patient-led organizations based in Kenya, including Women for Dementia Africa, Stroke Association of Kenya, Renal Patients Society of Kenya, Cancer Awareness Centre of Kenya and Kenya Mended Hearts Patients Association, among others.


The caucus, in conjunction with the NCD Alliance of Kenya—which is the national coordinating body for NGOs, civil society organizations and patient led groups and all players working on various aspects of NCD control—held a webinar on August 10, 2020.


The World Health Organization and the Health Ministry have warned that those living with NCDs and adults aged 60 years and above are vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, with persons with inadequately controlled NCDs at higher risk of severe attack with poor outcomes.


Experts say NCDs, which include cancers, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and mental health disorders, among others, currently account for more than 55 per cent of total hospital admissions and over 55 per cent of hospital deaths in Kenya.


The Kenya STEPwise survey for NCDs risk factors (2015) report identifies the major NCDs in the country as cardiovascular conditions, cancers, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases with their sequelae and shared risk factors. Equally contributing to the huge burden are violence and injuries, haemoglobinopathies, mental disorders, oral, eye and dental diseases.


Experts say cancer is estimated to be the third leading cause of death in Kenya, after infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

Estimates from Globocan 2018 show that there are 47,887 new cancer cases in Kenya every year and 32,987 deaths due to cancer annually, up from approximately 41,000 and 28,500, respectively in Globocan 2012. Globocan data provides valuable information on 36 cancers for 185 countries worldwide.


Elsewhere, the Kenya STEPwise report estimates that cancer is the second leading cause of NCD related deaths after cardiovascular diseases and accounts for seven per cent of overall national mortality.


The leading cancers in Kenyan women are breast, cervical and oesophageal. Breast cancer affects 34 per 100,000 population, a clear indication of the threat cancer poses to women.


In men, oesophageal, prostate and Kaposi Sarcoma are the most common cancers, with incidence rates of 17.5; 15.2 and 9.2 per 100,000 men, respectively.


At the same time, a new report by the International Diabetes Federation says 552,000 people in Kenya had diabetes in 2019, but nearly a half of those people are undiagnosed.


When contacted, a senior Health Ministry official, who sought anonymity, said the ministry was currently compiling cases on the number of people suffering from cardiovascular diseases and the report will be “ready by the end of the year.”


The NCD caucus said, “The adaptation of health systems, by the government, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 has negatively impacted those living with NCDs.


“For example, access to NCD treatment and care has been compromised by closure of NCD clinics as the focus has shifted to COVID-19 containment while supply chains have been disrupted, with transportation costs increasing.”


They said they had received reports of shortages and stock out of essential NCD medicines and commodities in public health facilities.


“Those living with NCDs are experiencing disruptions in NCD healthcare services, which puts them at higher risk of developing life threatening NCD complications and severe COVID-19.”


While acknowledging efforts by the Health Ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic, the caucus said there was a need to ensure protection and wellbeing of those living with NCDs.


“At the same time, we request for clear guidelines on how those living with NCDs can safely attend the re-opened clinics across all levels of the health facilities in Kenya,” said the caucus.


It also urged the government to ensure continuous education of healthcare providers on triaging and best practices for management of NCD-related emergencies.


“With Kenya easing restrictions, we ask the Government to inform the public of the availability of services in these clinics and encourage positive health seeking behaviors.”