Tomas Cardoso and Patricia Martínez – Cuba al Día, 2023 winner
Hosted by Tomas Cardoso (FTE) and produced by Patricia Martínez (PSC), Cuba al Día offers Cuban citizens an opportunity to bring the issues they confront on a daily basis to light for the benefit of all. This daily Radio Marti program delves into current events from the perspective of the people of Cuba, and it has become a staple of daily life on the island, with a strong presence in all of OCB’s social platforms.
That presence made a real impact when a public health crisis hit Cuba hard. In June of 2022, health authorities in Cuba decided to suspend spraying insecticide to combat the mosquito that transmits the dengue virus. Despite the high levels of infestation on the island, the spraying was stopped due to fuel shortages and the virus, which causes a deadly tropical disease known as dengue fever, spread rapidly. More than 3,000 cases were reported in the first six months of 2022, and the US Embassy in Havana put out a Health Alert for US citizens in Cuba in August of the same year.
The dengue fever crisis was a frequent topic on Cuba al Día, which empowered residents from different cities and towns in Cuba to participate in the program and expose effects of the epidemic firsthand. Cuba al Día documented the spread of the disease and detailed the hardships caused by the scarcity of medicines, the lack of attention from local authorities, and the hygiene and sanitation problems exacerbated by nationwide electricity outages.
The dengue crisis was the topic of almost 20 programs on Radio Martí, and was featured in a similar number of articles on martinoticias.com written by Tomas Cardoso between June and December of 2022. Health specialists, doctors, pharmacists, mothers, dengue fever sufferers, and the population in general ─ the coverage focused on real people who were able to report firsthand on their experiences and express their real concerns. By presenting audio, video, and photo testimonials, Cuba al Día, and martinoticias.com and its social media networks, were able to raise awareness of this dangerous health crisis.