ROLE OF RADIO IN PROMOTING PRIMARY HEALTH CARE

ABSTRACT: The research is set out to investigate the role of radio in promoting primary health care in Ogooluwa Local Government Oyo state because radio is seen as the most effective media to reach out to the rural dwellers. A survey research method was used while questionnaire was adopted as the main data collection instrument. 150 copies of questionnaire were administered to respondents that were drawn from five strategic communities within Ogooluwa local council and the communities are Odo-Oba, Iwo-Ate, Ota-Mokun, Pontela and Mowolowo towns. Radio is seen as the most effective media to reach out to the rural dweller in Ogo-Oluwa because of the problem of electricity to watch television and illiteracy level is high to read a newspaper but they can listen to radio everywhere. It is obvious that the majority of the respondents listen to health programmes on the radio because they spent between 1-4 hours while Ajilete FM has the highest listeners, followed by Oluyole F.M. It also shows that through health programme, they now stay healthy. It is recommended that mass media especially radio is to partner with various governments, NGOs and other international organizations like the World Health Organization and UNICEF in bringing their activities to the doorstep of the women and concerned public because no matter their effort might be if not disseminated appropriately it may not have a positive impact on the target people and one of the fasted and easiest way to converge message is through the mass media. Also, radio health communicators require training in broadcasting for health and informative research and evaluation that is in line with the scale of their programme initiatives.


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

            There is a popular assertion that has become a cliché that “health is wealth”. Thus, making everyone in the society irrespective of their status- social, political and academic to pay attention to health matters, because no one is too big to fall. However, one of the cheapest platforms to get up to date health information is through radio stations. Radio is one of the agents of socialisation and a tool for community mobilisation. Radio as a medium comes with unique characteristics that make it still very relevant despite the globalisation, media convergence and intimidations by the new media i.e radio is still regarded as one of the most effective means of reaching local audience.

            The flexibility of radio placed it at the advantage over every other media of communication thereby making it easy to reach out to people faster and effectively especially on health matters before, during and after an outbreak of any disease such as when ebola suddenly emerged, radio was a powerful tool employed.

            It is established that mass media entertain, educate, enlighten and inform, thus, radio through its health programmes can perform all the four functions together. Society for Family Health, among others, are a “Healthtainment” programme (health and entertainment). Also, how to prevent malaria in our society is both educative and enlightening. Similarly, radio informs us when there is an outbreak or certain activities in some areas that can cause a health-related problem in our society.

            Although, there are lots of health communication media one of the best approaches is the use of mass media advocacy especially a credible radio.   For many decades, mass media have been employed as an instrument for health campaigns in other to change the behaviours of a larger audience. Most of the campaigns have notably been aimed at tobacco use and heart-disease prevention, but have also addressed alcohol and illicit drug use, cancer screening and prevention, sex-related behaviours, child survival, and many other health-related issues (Wakefield, Loken and Hornik (2015).

            Wakefield, et. al. (2015) posits that media campaigns can be of short duration or may extend over long periods depending on the objective of the campaign and the fund available for such efforts. They may stand alone or be linked to other organised programme components, such as clinical or institutional outreach and easy access to newly available or existing products or services, or may complement policy changes. Multiple methods of dissemination might be used if health campaigns are part of broader social marketing programmes.

         Through this, community radio stations serve as agents of social change, community health mobilisation, tools for development that support two-way communication systems that enable dialogue and that allow communities to speak out, express their aspirations and concerns and participate in community health development (UNICEF, 2012).

            However, there is a causal relationship that exists between community radio and the people, for people to accept the community radio as a source of knowledge and as a mouthpiece for the marginalized, the community and people must work hand in hand.
         The community radio, which is the most diverse mode of communication in community health care, plays an essential role in the collection and passing of information, also in helping the public inform the right opinion about health care. It is against this background that the research examines the role of radio in promoting primary health in Ogooluwa Local government area of Oyo state with the hope to know the extent to which radio stations have performed this especially in terms of airtime allotted to health-related programmes.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

            Mass media health educational programmes over time have been regarded as effective tools in educating and informing the masses on health-related issues. These programmes can be read, listened to or viewed by the masses. Community radio plays important role in educating community members on health issues, especially those health challenges that are rampant or still seen in communities where such radios are located.

      Issues like child mortality, measles, diabetes, high blood pressure, sexually transmitted diseases and more are predominant in many communities. According to Airhihenbuwa & Obregon (2012), there has been a significant increase in the use of radio-based interventions for health at international and community levels in recent years.  This showed that radio play important role in health intervention messages in communities but are these health intervention programmes being felt by the community members?.   

      Are they impact meaningfully on the community members that listen to these programmes? Have these programmes been able to increase the knowledge of the community members on these health issues, and change their attitudes and behaviours?  In view of these, this study will therefore examine the role of radio in promoting primary health care in Ogooluwa Local government area of Oyo state.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

  1. To examine the extent to which residents of Ogooluwa LGA are exposed to health programmes on radio stations.
  2. To ascertain the extent to which radio disseminates primary health and other health-related matters to the residents of Ogooluwa LGA.
  3. To examine the role of radio in promoting primary health education among Ogooluwa LGA residence.
  4. To find out whether radio health programmes have influenced the residents of Ogooluwa LGA positively.
  5. Ascertain the extent to which residents of Ogooluwa Local Government Area adopt practices recommended in the health programmes on radio stations.

1.4       Research Questions

  1. To what extent are residents of Ogooluwa LGA are exposed to health programmes on the radio?
  2. To what extent are radio stations disseminate primary health and other health-related matters to the residents of Ogooluwa LGA residence?
  3. What role are primary health programmes on radio stations playing among residents of Ogooluwa LGA?
  4. To what extent are radio health programmes influencing residents of Ogooluwa LGA positively?
  5. To what extent do residents of Ogooluwa Local Government Area adopt practices recommended in the health programmes on radio stations? 

1.5     Significance of the study

            Since community radio has emerged as a tool for effective communication and mobilisation, it has been advanced for other meaningful courses including social change and advocacy for community development.

            The study will be beneficial to the management of radio stations especially community radio stations, governmental and non-governmental agencies, advocacy groups, future researchers and other stakeholders locally and globally.

            It is hoped that this study will give an insight into the impact of radio as a campus radio on health education programmes. It will advocate a better approach to health issues among community members in Ogooluwa LGA and does make a difference in promoting change as it concerns health. Also, suggest possible programme content to radio stations’ health education programmes.

            The management radio stations could use the research finding to create programmes and formulate better community-oriented health advocacy programmes that will help prevent, solve and guide against health problems in the community.

            The outcome of this research may lead to a better understanding of community radio, its uses towards social change and for community development programmes especially among NGOs that are saddled with health promotion matters.

            It will further expose more people to the need to pay attention to community radio and other media of mass communication health programmes in order to live a healthy life.

            Future researchers and students will find the material relevant as it will form bulk literature that exists in the field of mass communication, health communication and communication for development etc that they can lay hands on when carrying out research related or similar to this.

1.6       Scope of the Study

            The scope of the study is to examine the role of radio in promoting primary health in Ogooluwa local government in Oyo state. The council area (Ogooluwa LGA) was selected because of its proximity to researchers while the residents of Ogooluwa LGA do have access to several radio stations. Other factors considered for narrowing the scope of this study to Ogooluwa L.G is inadequate funds coupled with time to adopt many communities or many community radio stations.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

To further understand the study made by the researcher, the following terms are defined on how it was used in the study.

Role: This refers to the contributions of radio stations in promoting primary health in Ogooluwa.

Primary Health Programmes: These are programmes on radio stations that dwelled entirely or partially on health education or health matters generally that are disseminated to the radio audience in Ogooluwa local government area.

Primary Health: Primary healthcare (PHC) refers to essential health care that is based on scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology, which make universal health care accessible to all individuals and families in a community.

Ogooluwa Local Government: The Local Government shares boundaries in the East with Ejigbo Local Government of Osun State. In the South with Oyo East and Afijio Local Government Areas, in the North with Ogo-Oluwa West Local Council Development Area and in the West with Oriire Local Government Area.

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