OSOGBO RESIDENT’S PERCEPTION OF RADIO PROGRAMME AS A VERITABLE TOOL FOR SENSITISING RURAL DWELLERS ON HIV AIDS
Since the first diagnosis of HIV/AIDS more than three decades ago, the epidemic remains a humanitarian challenge. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the infection rate has escalated at an alarming rate over the years. Nigeria is no exception. Multiple stakeholders have resorted to different media platforms, including community radio to communicate HIV/AIDS awareness messages with the aim of reducing the HIV infection spread. This study focuses on a community radio station as a way of making sense of HIV/AIDS communication. Using the case of OSBC, the study assesses the contribution of this community broadcaster on HIV/AIDS awareness in Osogbo district, in Nigeria. Two theories: the Public Sphere Theory and the Agenda Setting Theory guided the study and were used to conceptualise the contribution of this community radio station towards contributing to HIV/AIDS awareness in the community of broadcast. In a bid to assess how OSBC programmes contribute to HIV/AIDS awareness and education; the researcher employed a qualitative research methodology. The data were collected using two data collection instruments, namely face-to- face interviews and focus group discussions. Thematic analysis was used to deduce the meaning and present the findings. The findings reveal that OSBC programmes largely contribute to HIV/AIDS awareness in the community. The station’s programmes on HIV/AIDS awareness are easily understood and influence communities’ socio-behavioural change as they enlighten them about the dangers of HIV/AIDS and how to reduce its spread. The results also reveal that live broadcasts proved to be more effective as they encourage two-way communication whereby listeners are involved and participate in these HIV/AIDS programmes. It is therefore concluded that OSBC programmes have been useful in the dissemination of valuable HIV/AIDS awareness messages.
Key-words: HIV/AIDS, Awareness, Education, Assessment, Listeners, Community Radio, Case Study, Osogbo Community Radio Station, Prevalence, Communication, Programmes, Message.
1.1 Background of study
The growth of HIV/AIDS incidences in some countries within Sub-Saharan Africa and the end result of these incidences have brought about fear and unrest in human life. In Sub- Saharan Africa many people have lost lives to HIV/AIDS within the past three decades since it was first diagnosed. It is argued that the existing condition of HIV/AIDS needs effervescent and powerful communication media to communicate information on the disease that can aid as a reminder (Van Dyk, 2008). Community radio as one type of media is assumed to play an active role in educating communities on and creating awareness of HIV/AIDS related illness (Parker, Dalrymple and Durden, 2006). Therefore, the focus of this study was on assessing the contribution of the Osogbo Community Radio Station (OSBC) on HIV/AIDS matters, namely awareness and education in the Osogbo district, Nigeria. This is because Osogbo is one of the districts in Nigeria where HIV/AIDS prevalence keeps escalating instead of declining (LePHIA Report, 2016-2017).Therefore, the study placed a premium focus on the role of OSBC in reaching communities in the district within the radius of its coverage, and the possible social behaviour change impact that the station has on its listenership.
As stated by Parker, et al. (2006), radio still remains a resourceful medium to assist in conveying health and social challenges. Parker et al. (2006) further emphasize that even during this time of digital communication; radio still remains a resourceful medium that can assist in addressing health issues and social behaviours in relation to HIV/AIDS. As a result, it is imperative that HIV/AIDS awareness and education be included in the context of mass communication such as community radio (Parker et al., 2006). Even though some people are
still afraid of HIV/AIDS because of the stigma and discrimination attached to HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS Gap Report, 2015), it is important to acknowledge that other people have accepted HIV/AIDS as a reality and take some measures to advise or educate others in knowing their HIV status (National AIDS Commission, 2006).
The overall health communication purpose is to communicate promotional health messages, for instance, health education or public health awareness, such as information on HIV/AIDS prevention and the implications of the disease. The rationale of communicating health information is to influence individual health as way of helping people to improve health- related issues (Parker et al., 2006). As stated by Mtimde, Maphiri and Nyamaku (1998); Peigh, Maloney, Higgins and Bogue (1979), community radio can play an active role in increasing HIV/AIDS prevention competence and strategies that may improve listeners` lives. HIV/AIDS competence means a society whose citizens are knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS, what HIV/AIDS entails, and how it is transmitted. Therefore, community radio as communication medium can play a vibrant role in this regard to raise awareness of and improve knowledge about HIV/AIDS.
It has been stated by different reports that Nigeria`s HIV-prevalence rate has increased from 23% to 25.6%, with 25% of adults (age 15-59) infected with HIV DHS by 2016 (LePHIA Report, 2016-2017). The findings of the LePHIA Report (2016-2017) further indicate that there are 13 000 new incidents of HIV infection per year amongst this groups. These statistics illustrate that amid the overall population of Nigeria, there is a need to investigate the role played by different organisations or institutions to create awareness and educate communities on HIV/AIDS-related issues.
Based on the above analysis, the purpose of the research reported here was to assess the
contribution of OSBC to HIV/AIDS awareness and education amongst the community surrounding the radio station, that is, within the receiving area. To make sense of such
HIV/AIDS awareness and education at Osogbo, the researcher selected two well-known programmes which he could apply to come to a clear understanding of the extent of OSBC’s contribution to HIV/AIDS awareness (see below under case study background).
As stated above, HIV/AIDS still poses threats to Sub-Saharan African countries. Without efficient strategies and actions such as education, HIV/AIDS remains a challenge to the communities (Bauer and Scott, 2005).As stated earlier, HIV/AIDS in Nigeria still remains a problem, as it keeps growing regardless of the measures taken by the Government of Nigeria and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This research therefore, focuses on the use of community radio station in creating awareness around HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nigeria, Osogbo district. This is because mass media have immense prospects to influence health-related behaviours and perception (Tyali and Tomaselli, 2015). It can also provide a communication backdrop to improved health (Paker, et al., 2006). They (Parker et al. 2006) further indicate that these media institutions can contribute greatly to the wellness of a community by playing a role in educating, informing and creating awareness around HIV/AIDS issues and support people to make informed decision regarding HIV/AIDS infection.
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
Since it was first diagnosed, HIV /AIDS has remained a medical challenge and it continues to escalate in some parts of Southern Africa, including Nigeria (UNAIDS Data Report, 2018; UNAIDS Gap Report, 2015; Van Dyk, 2008). Nigeria’s HIV/AIDS reported prevalence rate is alarmingly high and keeps on escalating (Demographic and Health Survey, 2014; LePHI A Report, 2016-2017; National AIDS Commission, 2016). This was reason enough for exploring a holistic research approach on how community radio`s programmes create awareness on HIV/AIDS related issues, and assist communities to deal with the epidemic, including how it might offer meaningful engagement and education (Adam and Harford, 1999; Demographic and Health Survey, 2014; UNAIDS Gap Report, 2015).
The ability to put a stop to the trend of an increase in the spread of HIV/AIDS in future to some extent depends on adequate communication with people, containing messages and knowledge (Fraser and Estrada, 2001; Myhre and Flora, 2000). To be successful in the fight against the spread of HIV infections, there has to be continuous education and awareness among people to take measurable actions to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS-related illnesses acquired through the sexual act and other related risky behaviour (Nigeria UNGASS Report, 2006-2007; National AIDS Commission, 2006; UNAIDS, 2014).
Based on the above reported findings by UNAIDS-Nigeria, communication basically is the obvious solution to the issue of increasing numbers of people becoming infected by the virus. Communication is an essential strategy in any action that aims to improve health issues. It is difficult to deliver messages to promote healthy choices without communicating. AIDS is regarded as one deadly condition and, therefore, without adequate communication and education procedures, HIV infections hold an explicit threat to the community (USAID,
2011). Therefore, communication can play a vital part in the methods of care, prevention, support and HIV/AIDS treatment (Ministry Health and Social Welfare, 2008-2013; USAID, 2011). Therefore, OSBC, like other media outlets, can be a quick, effective and important tool to reach the Osogbo community by providing health awareness information (cf. Howard, 2009). As indicated above, the study is aimed at assessing the contribution of OSBC on creating awareness around HIV/AIDS-related issues.
1.3 Objectives of study
The aim of the study
The main aim or goal of this study was to investigate the role played by community radio inproviding education on and raising awareness of HIV/AIDS through its programmes. For thispurpose, use was made of a case study involving the Osogbo Community Radio Station(OSBC).
In order to achieve the aim of the study, the following objectives were formulated:
- To examine how the Tunde Morning Drive Show and Surulere programmes mainstream HIV/AIDS programme in their series (content) that are used as source to create awareness and education on HIV/AIDS-related
- To explore different approaches and methods used by OSBC in delivering HIV/AIDS awareness and education through Tunde Morning Drive Show and Surulere
- To explore the perceptions of stakeholders regarding Tunde Morning Drive Show and Surulere programmes in advancing and disseminating the information in regard to HIV/AIDS.
- To assess how community members participate in designing HIV/AIDS programme
1.4 The Research Questions
- How do the Tunde Morning Drive Show and Surulere programmes mainstream HIV/AIDS programming in their series (content) used as a source of awareness and education on HIV/AIDS related issues?
- What are the different approaches and methods used by the OSBC in delivering messages on HIV/AIDS awareness through Tunde Morning Drive Show and Surulere programme?
- What are the perceptions of staff members and the community regarding the Tunde Morning Drive Show and Surulere programmes in advancing and disseminating information with regard to HIV/AIDS?
- How do community members participate in designing HIV/AIDS programme content?
1.5 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Even though the researcher had settled for the qualitative data collection method, he was aware of some limitations of this research method. Qualitative research is too small to allow the researcher to generalise data beyond the sample selected for a particular study (Creswell, 2013; Wimmer and Dominick, 2014). Nonetheless, this did not turn out to have been problematic in this study, because the researcher only was concerned with a particular case and therefore the aim was not to generalise the findings. The findings will only be applicable in the context of the case study. However, the researcher made meaning of and came to conclusions based on the responses of the representative samples. Similarly, data reliability might be a problem, because a single observer was responsible for describing unique events. Different techniques had been employed in efforts to collect reliable information from different participants.
Again, if not properly planned, a study may produce nothing of value (Creswell, 2015). To overcome this problem the study was planned by the researcher before commencing with the study and clear decisions were made about the course of the study. The use of a voice recorder assisted the researcher in collecting all information possible during the interview processes. Additionally, the focus of the study was limited and specified, and the interpretation of meaning and the examination of observable behaviour likewise were fundamentally focused and limited (Wimmer and Dominick, 2013). Finally, the researcher acknowledged that the study and analysis might have been subjective and potentially biased, but special care was taken to handle the data cautiously to prevent bias.
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