HomeResourcesStruggling with reporting on COVID-19? This free course will help

Struggling with reporting on COVID-19? This free course will help

Epidemiology 101 is a tailor-made course for journalists presented by world-renowned epidemiologists and scientists.

Reporting on COVID-19 can be overwhelming — the science is new and there are hundreds of studies on the disease published daily. That is why Bhekisisa has partnered with The McGill International TB Centre, Chatham House and Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture to host this certificate course for journalists. The three-week programme (two one and a half hour sessions twice a week) breaks down how studies work, what they can and can’t measure and explains how viruses spread.

What is the course about? 

This short, introductory course builds on a similar course offered to Indian health journalists, aims at health/science journalists in Africa, and will use topical examples from COVID-19, to cover issues such as types of epidemiologic studies, how to measure disease frequency and risk, importance of bias and confounding, and review various common study designs, including observational studies and randomised trials.

The main emphasis would be on how to consume and critically read literature.

Who qualifies to apply? 

  • Must be a health or science journalist based in Africa
  • Must be willing to invest time and able to participate in at least 80% of the webinar lectures
  • Must be willing to catch up on missed lectures by reviewing video recordings
  • Must be willing to read and complete assignments
  • Must be an active participant by asking questions & sharing experiences
  • Take an entry and exit quiz/exam

Who are the course instructors? 


Madhukar Pai, MD, PhD is a Canada research chair in epidemiology & global health at McGill University, Montreal. He is director of the McGill International TB Centre.

Ngozi Erondu, PhD, MPH is an infectious disease epidemiologist. She currently consults as an associate fellow at the Chatham House and a senior public health advisor at Public Health England.

Teaching assistants: 

Iya Saidou Conde, MD, MSc received his MSc from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He is currently supporting the WHO COVID-19 response in DR Congo.

Chido Dziva Chikwari, MSc, PhD received her PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She works at the Biomedical Research and Training Institute in Zimbabwe.

How long is the course?

The course runs from July 13 – 31. Each session is 90 minutes on Mondays & Thursdays, via Zoom [7 PM SAST]

Do you get a certificate? 

A certificate of completion will be awarded to those who complete the full course.

Apply here:

This powerpoint presentation gives you more details about the course.