ABSTRACT: This research examines the impact of mass media campaigns on the reduction of malaria (A study of Osun State Broadcasting Corporation. There is no doubt about the fact that malaria remained one of the deadly diseases killing thousands of people especially in Africa and Asia. One of the means to curtail its spread is through awareness creation. The study was anchored on Social Judgement Theory and Source Credibility Theory. The research used a survey method coupled with questionnaire as a data collection instrument. One hundred (100) respondents were accidentally selected from 100, while only 90 copies were correctly filled and returned for analysis. The data collected were analysed and discussed in descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage method). Finding also shows that to some extent various mass campaigns are effective as awareness is. The study recommended that there should be an increase in malaria awareness among individuals, family and communities by ensuring community participation in the control while there should be adequate records, documents and information about malaria in order to assist the health worker to spot easily the malaria-prone areas.
1.1 Background to the Study
One of the oldest, popular and deadly diseases in the world is malaria, yet fewer people pay attention to it unlike Coronavirus, HIV/AIDS, Small Pox, Lasa Virus, etc. Aguwa (2009) says malaria kills a child somewhere in the world every minute. It infects approximately 219 million people each year (range 154 – 289 million), with an estimated 660,000 deaths, mostly children in Africa. Ninety percent of malaria deaths occur in Africa, where malaria accounts for about one in six of all childhood deaths. The disease also contributes greatly to anaemia among children — a major cause of poor growth and development (AbouZahr and Wardlaw, 2009).
Malaria infection during pregnancy is associated with severe anaemia and other illness in the mother and contributes to low birth weight among newborn infants one of the leading risk factors for infant mortality and sub-optimal growth and development. Aguwa (2009) describes malaria as having a serious economic impact in Africa, slowing economic growth and development and perpetuating the vicious cycle of poverty. Malaria is truly a disease of poverty afflicting primarily the poor who tend to live in malaria-prone rural areas in poorly-constructed dwellings that offer few if any, barriers against mosquitoes.
Malaria is both preventable and treatable, and effective preventive and curative tools have been developed over time through local and international collaborations. Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by protists (a type of microorganism) of the genus Plasmodium. It begins with a bite from an infected female Anopheles mosquito, which introduces the protists through saliva into the circulatory system.
In the blood, the protists travel to the liver to mature and reproduce. Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever and headache, which in severe cases can progress to coma or death. The disease is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions in broadband around the equator, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Five species of Plasmodium can infect and be transmitted by humans. The vast majority of deaths are caused by P. falciparum and P. vivax, while P. ovale, and P. malaria cause a generally milder form of malaria that is rarely fatal. The zoonotic species P. Knowlesi, prevalent in Southeast Asia, causes malaria in macaques but can also cause severe infections in humans.
There are common symptoms of malaria that will be noticed when a person contracted malaria. In the early stages, malaria symptoms are sometimes similar to those of many other infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Symptoms may include fever, chills, headache, sweats, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, dry (nonproductive) cough, muscle and/or back pain, enlarged spleen. In rare cases, malaria can lead to impaired function of the brain or spinal cord, seizures, or loss of consciousness. Infection with the P. falciparum parasite is usually more serious and may become life-threatening.
Symptoms may appear in cycles and may come and go at different intensities and for different lengths of time. But, especially at the beginning of the illness, the symptoms may not follow this typical pattern (UNICEF, 2017). The cyclic pattern of malaria symptoms is due to the life cycle of malaria parasites cameras as they develop, reproduce, and are released from the red blood cells and liver cells in the human body. This cycle of symptoms is also one of the major indicators that you are infected with malaria.
According to the WHO (2015) there were about 219 million cases of malaria in 2010 (with an uncertainty range of 154 million to 289 million) and an estimated 660 000 deaths (with an uncertainty range of 490 000 to 836 000). Malaria mortality rates have fallen by more than 25% globally since 2000, and by 33% in the WHO African Region. Most deaths occur among children living in Africa where a child dies every minute from malaria.
Country-level burden estimates available for 2015 show that an estimated 80% of malaria deaths occur in just 14 countries and about 80% of cases occur in 17 countries. Together, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria account for over 40% of the estimated total of malaria deaths globally (WHO Report, 2010).
At least a million people die from malaria each year. Some put the estimates as high as 2.7 million. Also, 90% of the deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa. 70% of the deaths are of children under 5. That’s equivalent to one child dying of malaria in Africa every 30 seconds (WHO, 2015) It should be recalled that one of the recent efforts is the provision Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) which the campaign was done on various media to include social media, however, the research examined the impact of mass media campaigns on the reduction of malaria with a specific focus on OSBC campaigns on the residents of Boripe Local government area of Osun state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Every day, many people become victims of malaria especially children and women in underdeveloped and developing countries. Federal Government, once said that “malaria is devastating families, made poor; poorer and costs the nation about 140 billion naira annually”. It hampers children’s schooling and social development in general. The major concern why malaria is killing lots of people is when it can be prevented, cured and treated. WHO, (2016) attributed this to inadequate knowledge and low level of awareness especially among the rural dwellers. Thus, an increase in awareness of malaria including its spread, prevention and treatment would reduce the havoc, it is against this background the researcher examined the role of mass media on the reduction of malaria among the people of Boripe local government in Osun state.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To evaluate the extent to which OSBC campaigns against malaria have reduced malaria among people.
- To examine the extent to which Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) Campaign awareness on OSBC influence people to adopt it.
1.4 Research Questions
- How effective is the malaria campaigns of OSBC on the residents of Boripe local government?
- To what extent does Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) Campaign awareness on OSBC influence people to adopt it?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research is relatively new to the field of mass communication, although some scholars have written on the impact of mass media in curbing malaria none of them ever write on how to use social media campaigns for the same purpose. Therefore being a new aspect, the work will benefit many organizations and individuals.
First, the study will benefit students and the youth on the need to share and not just use social media to catch fun but for health and academic advancement
Government and health stakeholders will see the need to adopt social media during the health campaign by sharing the necessary links from their website to the social media timeline for students to see and express their views. Future researchers who may what to carry out research in this area or related aspect will find this research as a reference point.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study which examined the impact of mass media campaigns on the reduction of malaria has been narrowed in scope to Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) on the residents of Boripe Local government, Osun State because it is audience-based research and due to time, geographical locations, fund and other necessary logistics.
1.7 Operational Definition of the Terms
Impact: This refers to the contribution of OSBC towards the reduction of malaria among people in Boripe Local government area.
Malaria: This is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by protists (a type of microorganism) of the genus Plasmodium that affects the human system.
Mass Media Campaign: Series of OSBC messages directed at people on how to prevent and control malaria.
Boripe Local Government: This is one of the local governments in Osun state Nigeria with the majority of them as typical Yoruba and Muslim and they have access to OSBC radio and Tv.
OSBC: This refers to Osun State Broadcasting Corporation and it is a state government media located at Osogbo but having its signals across the state.