Using mass media for health education: a case study of FM stations in the Tamale Metropolis

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Though endowed with a variety of mass media through which the Tamale Metropolis is informed, educated and entertained, the specific use of FM stations to reduce the high prevalence of preventable diseases has not been investigated. With the objectives of ascertaining how FM stations are being use to promote health education; assessing whether health education on the FMs are sustainable; identifying ways to stimulate interest for health programmes through the FMS; assessing the level of collaboration between the FM stations, health related institutions and communities; suggesting ways through which the health professionals and media personnel can be improved; and to ascertain efforts made by major stakeholders in the promotion of heath education the research employed a descriptive survey with a cross sectional design. Using a sample size of 100 respondents from various communities in the metropolis, four FM stations and twelve health related institutions questionnaires, interviews and literature review were use to gather both primary and secondary data. The series of analyses revealed that there is high the usage of FM stations for health education; the sustainability of health education programmes is dependent on various factors; a lot of potentials exist for stimulating listenership of health education programmes on FM stations; the collaboration among the stakeholder could at best be described as partial and inadequate in promoting quality health education broadcast; and that the promotion of health education programmes on the FM stations in the metropolis is quite high. It is therefore recommended that FM stations be provided special attention to ensure that health education programmes benefit the entire public; all stakeholders support the health related institutions in their effort to improve the health of the people; community members should be given the support and encouragement to participate in health education programmes on the FMs so as to promote the use of FM stations for health education; The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly should adopt measures that will enhance the reach of health education programmes to people under its jurisdiction; and that the metropolitan health directorate should give special attention to the health education division towards the broadcast of health education programmes on the FM stations.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Community Health, School of Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science, 2004