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USING THE MEDIA FOR HEALTH EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN TOMBIA
This study assessed the media use for health education programmes in selected health institutions in Tombia, Nigeria. Survey research design method was adopted for the study. Data were collected from 140 respondents using questionnaire , interview and observation as the instrument. The data were analyzed and presented in tables of frequencies and percentages. The research findings revealed that health institutions were yet to fully implement the use of Information Technology such as Video Conferencing and Teleconferencing in health education. It was also discovered that erratic power supply and high cost of acquiring the media materials were the major obstacles to using information technology. Breast cancer is a leading female malignancy and a major health concern in the world today. In Nigeria, breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women aged 30 years and above. It reduces the life expectancy of the population at risk, especially those between 31 and 50 years of age. This paper examines the use of mass media to create awareness of breast cancer among women in Nigeria. In addition, the paper explores the theoretical understanding of the importance of mass media in creating awareness of health issues. The author further suggests various pathways whereby mass media strategies could be used in creating awareness of breast cancer in Nigeria. The beliefs, attitudes and motives that underlie poor health practices often are deeply-rooted and emotion-laden. For this and other reasons, it typically is difficult to persuade people to engage in activities which relate to health maintenance. Recently published literature indicates that there is some disillusionment with mass media campaigns as a tool for changing health behavior. Although such campaigns can make an impact, they often do not. The present paper discusses the role of mass communications in health marketing programs and suggests some ways in which the planning, implementation and evaluation of media efforts can be improved. [ to cite ]: Mary Jane Schlinger (1976) ,”The Role of Mass Communications in Promoting Public Health”, in NA – Advances in Consumer Research Volume 03, eds. Beverlee B. Anderson, Cincinnati, OH : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 302-305.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The mass media play a pivotal role in the development process of a country. The mass media are generally regarded as channels of communication that are capable of reaching heterogeneous audiences simultaneously with uniform messages. The mass media in Nigeria regularly cover all sorts of issues such as health, music, fine art, crime, sports, and political events (Meyer, 2002; Soola, 2004). The mass media transmit ideas and new information to target audience in the society. Tosanwumi (1994) has observed that the mass media educate, inform, and entertain. Beyond these functions, they also persuade and catalyze social mobilization. In other words, the mass media can be regarded as powerful sources of information because they have the capability to penetrate every segment of the society. They have the ability to disseminate messages about issues, ideals and products. Furthermore, the mass media have the capacity to create awareness and knowledge about issues of national interest.
The traditional mass media usually consist of radio, television, newspaper, and magazine. The radio has been regarded as the most pervasive and most effective medium in reaching the country’s widely dispersed, heterogeneous audience. It is reputed worldwide for being the cheapest, simplest and most portable medium of mass communication for reaching people. Soola (2009) has reasoned that the radio is not limited by electricity, which is hardly available and epileptic in its supply when available. In addition, the radio is as extremely mobile: people could listen to a radio program in their car, home, or office. However, due to the downturn in the Nigerian economy and its toll on people’s purchasing power, both the hardware and software of this medium has become expensive for an average income earner. Soola (1999) has observed that radio sets and batteries are expensive in Nigerian society. He also added the batteries of these radio set are becoming less long-lasting. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the radio, being ubiquitous in nature, can be regarded as a powerful source of information.
Television possesses the unique characteristics of sound, sight, and motion, which it combines with simultaneity. It also transcends the bounds often imposed by illiteracy on information and knowledge acquisition. In addition, its status conferral on individuals or demonstrated practices is unrivaled (Soola, 2009; Soola, 1999). In other words, television has the capacity of audio-visual presentation of programs and, by virtue of its ownership and operational structure, can be regarded as an urban medium. In addition, television has the ability to reach a heterogeneous audience in both rural and urban settings. However, television has its limitations in Nigeria; Soola (1999) has argued that television stations in Nigeria suffer from poor production capability, declining economic fortunes, and cheap foreign alternatives. He also observed that a stocktaking of a typical evening program offering on most Nigerian private television stations reveals that most of the programs are entertainment-centered. It is pertinent to note that most of the limitations of the electronic media are man-made and systemic and not a creation of electronic technology. It is believed that all these limitations can be overcome, when the government, media owners and managers are committed to socio-economic development and growth of a nation.
The print media, on the other hand, can be used to educate, enlighten, and mobilize people to a particular issue of national interest. The print media primarily refers to newspapers and magazines, though other forms of print media include billboards, posters, handbills, pamphlets, and brochures. Two unique advantages of the print media are its permanence and the possibility of information custody and storage for close reading and future use. Soola (2009) has, however, noted that certain user requirements often limit print media reach. The first user requirement is that he or she must be literate, at least in the local language. Among a predominantly non-literate rural population, print media reach is severely limited, particularly as more than 70 percent of them are published in the English language. In addition, it should be noted that newspapers and magazines in Nigeria are becoming increasing endangered by the anxiety to survive at all cost. This can be observed as most of the pages of a newspaper are clustered with advertisements. Nevertheless, the use of newspapers and magazines for development purposes is essential to enlighten and mobilize people.
The internet with its multimedia capabilities has affected the traditional ways individuals access the mass media in the society (Adaja, 2005). With the rise of internet as a new media, the possibility to express one’s self has become easier. The internet is increasingly being defined by new digital technologies that empower users to develop, create, rate, and distribute internet content and applications (O‘Reilly, 2005). Generally, the internet is a worldwide network of computer networks, connected to each other by telecommunication links. It is made up of an ever-growing number of organizations and individuals who have decided to share information in this giant, interconnected open system (Norton & Smith, 1996). Okpoko (2006) argued that the principal functions of the internet are communication (e-mail), information gathering, and electronic marketing. The advent of multimedia devices such as smartphones, iPads, and others have revolutionized the ways in which individuals access information. Individuals can have access to their radio and television programs with the use of their multimedia devices. People can also get sports updates and news reports on their cell phones. In 1969, Kotler and Levy published a seminal article, “Broadening the Concept of Marketing,” which stimulated widespread interest in applying the principles and concepts of marketing outside of the traditional for-profit business arena. Concomitantly, marketing researchers began focusing increased attention on the consumer decision-making process as it operates in such diverse areas as politics, religion, education and health.
The entire issue of the July, 1971, Journal of Marketing was devoted to what might be called public service or social marketing, i.e., the marketing of ideas, services, products and organizations that are intended to help accomplish societal goals. The 1971, 1972 and 1973 Association for Consumer Research national conferences each incorporated sessions on broadening the concept of consumer behavior. The following year, a series of papers was delivered on marketing political candidates. And in 1975, the Association for Consumer Research program included a session titled “Consumer Behavior and Public Health.”
The purpose of this paper is to examine the “Consumer Behavior and Public Health” presentations and other selected literature for implications about the potential role of the mass media in promoting public health. Before doing that, however, it would be useful to review some of the problems that face would-be marketers of public health.
1.2 PROBLEM OF THE STUDY
According to the 2008 report of the MDGs, the print coverage of MDGs is low and not encouraging in the rural areas and there is media neglect especially in the print medium. Commercialization has eaten deep into the industry and issues with financial footings and backings are reported. The MDGs, targeted at 2015 is relatively unknown to the target audience, this to a great extent, throws a doubt at its survival and achievement. To this effect, it becomes imperative to say that there is negative long term and shortterm effect of poor dissemination of adequate information with regards to health in the printmedia. There is need to know if the increasing popularity of news print has strengthened or harmed peoples knowledge of their health concerns in respect to the MDG goals. Even whenthe information gets to the target audience, some are in the form that it is difficult for anaverage person in that area to understand. Most of the prints do not take into cognisance thefact that their are individual as well as cultural differences in the way people accept, processand interprets information passed on to them.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
1. To assess the role of media in educating people of health matters in Tombia.
2. To promote health education in Tombia through media institution ns such as radio, television, newspaper, magazines and internet.
3. To reduce the rate infection and deficiencies among people through using media to education on how to be in good health.
4. To know the challenges and limitations involve in using for health education.
5. To suggest possible ways of solving this problems in to reach the ignorant poplars in various communities in Tombia.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Does media play vital role in educating people on health matters in Tombia?
2. How can media promote health education in Tombia through institutions such as radio, television, newspaper, magazines and internet?
3. Can this study reduce the rate infection and deficiencies among people through using media to education on how to be in good health?
4. What are the challenges and limitations involve in using for health education?
5. What are the possible ways of solving this problems in to reach the ignorant poplars in various communities in Tombia?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: Media does play any vital role in educating people on health matters in Tombia.
H1: Media play any vital role in educating people on health matters in Tombia.
H0: Media cannot promote health education in Tombia through institutions such as radio, television, newspaper, magazines and internet.
H1: Media can promote health education in Tombia through institutions such as radio, television, newspaper, magazines and internet.
H0: This study can increase the rate infection and deficiencies among people through using media to education on how to be in good health.
H1: This study can increase the rate infection and deficiencies among people through using media to education on how to be in good health.
H0: There are no challenges and limitations involve in using for health education.
H1: There are challenges and limitations involve in using for health education.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
using the media for health educational development in Tombia
metropolis. This blog is dedicated to environmental health in Tombia, the effort of media in giving health information in Tombia. Therefore, this study will benefit and be at advantage to people such as community, traditional rulers, students, children e.t.c .
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is centered onusing the media for health educational development in Tombia
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Despite the limited scope of this study certain constraints were encountered during the research of this project. Some of the constraints experienced by the researcher were given below:
i. TIME: This was a major constraint on the researcher during the period of the work. Considering the limited time given for this study, there was not much time to give this research the needed attention.
ii. FINANCE: Owing to the financial difficulty prevalent in the country and it’s resultant prices of commodities, transportation fares, research materials etc. The researcher did not find it easy meeting all his financial obligations.
iii. INFORMATION CONSTRAINTS: Nigerian researchers have never had it easy when it comes to obtaining necessary information relevant to their area of study from private business organization and even government agencies. Journalists in Tombia find it difficult to reveal their internal operations. The primary information was collected through face-to-face interview getting the published materials on this topic meant going from one library to other which was not easy. Although these problems placed limitations on the study, but it did not prevent the researcher from carrying out a detailed and comprehensive research work on the subject matter.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Health education: Health education means enlighten people on health matters. This can be done through the use of media institutions and health workers. There is growing evidence which shows that Health education interventions make a positive contribution to the improvement of human health. Within the context of Primary Health Care (PHC), promotion is critical to improving outcomes in the prevention and control of both chronic and communicable diseases, and in meeting the health-related Millennium Development Goals, particularly among poor and marginalized groups.
Environmental Health Officers :Environmental Health Officers (also known as Public Health Inspectors) are responsible for carrying out measures for protecting public health, including administering and enforcing legislation related to environmental health and providing support to minimize health and safety hazards. They are involved in a variety of activities, for example inspecting food facilities, investigating public health nuisances, and implementing disease control.
A Public Health Inspector: A Public Health Inspector (also known as an Environmental Health Officer) is a public employee who investigates health hazards in a wide variety of locations, and will take action to mitigate or eliminate the hazards.
Sanitation: “Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and feces. Inadequate sanitation is a major cause of disease world-wide and improving sanitation is known to have a significant beneficial impact on health both in households and across communities.
SANITATION SERVICE DEPARTMENT: The Sanitation Services Department is responsible for ensuring a clean environment for healthy and sustainable living in line with the policy of an integrated approach to environmental sanitation and enhancement. The department also organizes seminars on environmental Advocacy/Awareness campaign for the informal sector (artisans, market men and women, taxi drivers etc).
Improved sanitation – refers to the management of human faeces at the household level. This terminology is the indicator used to describe the target of the Millennium Development Goal on sanitation, by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation.
To the ordinary man on the street development means the provision of tangible social infrastructure like roads, hospitals, schools, and decent pipe-borne water, constant power supply and other social amenities.
Professionals like economists view development as change that realistically enhances people’s earnings in addition to raising their living standards via large – scale production of goods and services. In the perspective of philosphphers, development is viewed as the attainment of meaningful degree of alertness and the sophistication of human faculties to the level of the individual in society can not only reason well but also, adopt a logical approach to issues arising from human society.
From the above laymen and professional perception of development one can infer that development as a concept is a continuous change that impact meaningfully on all the ramifications of peoples lives. Okunna (2002:294A) cited in Nwodu and Ukozor (2003:2) summarizes the meaning of development this way “Development should bring change, this change should be for the better; the change should be for the benefit of the majority of the people; and the process should be participatory, that is, involve people as closely as possible.
It is form this angle that this project perceives development.
Communication according to the ordinary man on the street means getting your ideas across or making yourself understood. These are not wrong, but in the context of this project it is much more than this.
Several communication scholars have tried to define communication from several perspectives: According to Darnce (1970) cited in Ndolo (1998:1) communication is the process by which we understand others and in term endeavour to be understood by them. it is dynamic, constantly changing and shifting in response to the total situation.
Agee et al, 1998 defines communication as the act of transmitting information, ideas and attitudes from one person to another. In other words transmission of information, ideas, and attitudes to one or more of an individual’s senses of sight, sound, touch, taste or smell.
According to Onho (1991) communication is an activity or process that entails mutual sharing or exchange of ideas, information, feelings, emotions and reactions.
Common to all the above definitions is that communication is a process of understanding and sharing of ideas, feelings and meaning or managing of messages between people.
In the process of communication one can identify five basic elements. These elements are people, channel, messages, Noise and feedback. Without these elements there can be no communication.
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