The study examine the challenges of mass media for health communication in rural areas, it also examine the effectiveness of mass media in delivering and promoting health related issues among the rural dwellers in Olamaboro Local government. The aim of the study was to find out the role/the existing mass media of communication used for health information in Olamaboro. The study was anchored on two theories which are democratic participant theory and development media theory. The study adopts the survey research method while questionnaire was used as instrument for gathering information. The researcher also uses multi-stage sampling technique to select respondents from the population of 340 respondents. Findings from the research shows that the mass media of communication played a crush role in the dissemination of health information in Olamaboro and it is effective in delivery and promoting health information. Based on the findings, the researcher concludes that that mass media of communication is effective in disseminating and delivering health related information in Olamaboro Local Government area of Kogi state. The researcher recommended that the modern media should be used in conjunction with the mass media of communication to disseminate health information and use the various mass media which rural people are familiar with. This will give room for participatory communication among the rural dwellers and improve their health related problem.
1.1 Background of study
Communication is a process by which information is passed between individuals. It is the system of passing information, ideas, messages, and feelings. Between two or more people through previously agreed language, code or symbols (Asemah 2011).
Communication involve different forms which includes the intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, public, mass communication, and the indigenous (traditional media) etc. all these were different means of communication through which information is passed across, we interact, associate, relate, share ideas, views opinion, norms and values with one and others. Communication is regarded as the life blood of human existence which rapidly enhances unity that leads to the development of our society at large. That is the reasons why it must involve two persons.
The indigenous African system of communication has promoted peaceful existence, understanding and creating self-awareness among human beings in the rural areas, not just in Nigeria alone but in Africa as a whole. This communication systems has the basic elements that together help define the communication process in the rural areas. In mass media of communication, (the sending and receiving of messages) are done simultaneously. In order for this traditional method of communication to achieve its goals, it should be effective in passing information across between the sender and the receiver at the same level.
Marshal McLuhan once said that “the medium is the message” This means the message we disseminate pass through a medium before it can be received by the receiver, this means that there is no communication without a message being passed across.
Several communication scholars have identified mass media as important tools for successful public health campaigns in a rural area because it’s effective to “create and deliver the appropriate messages, and also help in tailoring this message towards the health status of the people” (Creating effective health messages)
Health communication is defined as the study and use of communication Strategies to inform, influence, and motivate individuals, institutions, and communities in making effective decisions to improve health and enhance quality of life (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2005). Considering this wide scope of health communication, scholars, practitioners, and policy makers recognize the significance of health communication to public health.
According to Asemah (2012), Mass media campaigns are widely used to expose high proportions of large populations to messages through routine uses of existing media, such as television, radio and newspapers. Sharma (n.d) avers that the media’s demand for information has grown exponentially in the last few years. People are interested in information to what happen around them and as it concerned their health status.
However, health communicators and practitioners require the understanding of how effective is the mass media in planning public health messages and its interventions. (Dooley, Jones and Desmarais 2009), Communication is the exchange of ideas and each society has its own communication media to reach its people. Every culture and community should not be passed by; hence the interest in studying Olamaboro local government to see their indigenous communication media for both health and general development will become imperative.
In communication there must be individuals who are involved in the dissemination of the message and at the same time receiving the message in order to make it lively and effective.
Communication has a variety of functions in our lives based on our daily activities; communication helps us to create an understanding and insight. It allows us to understand ourselves and others at the same time. Create an insight into oneself and others. This is because when you get to know another person you get to know yourself; you learn how others affect you. Communication also helps us to create meaningful relationship between one person and another at the rural level; this level of communication determines the relationship with others. Just as human beings need water, food and shelter, so also, we need to communicate and become oriented of issues around us.
One way of achieving this is through the utilization of indigenous communication media in conjunction with the modern mass media.
It however being identify that the desires for information about people and events, the satisfaction of news hunger stimulated by war or rumour of war, the necessity to spread information about political and health condition of the people should be taken care of as well as decisions on the threats to security of life in the rural area, the need to stimulate and strengthen the sense of identification with values and objectives of the society, creating awareness by the authority, all these were carried out by the mass media of communication in a given community.
Reviving our culture is necessary because it will enhance overall national development of our mass media as channels of communication. Communication is the exchange of ideas and each society has its own communication media to reach its people.
The studies of indigenous communication is now necessary because of the need to reduce the over concentration of the media on the urban areas in the country neglecting the rural areas.
It becomes so imperatives to note that every societal growth, survival and continuity depends on and among other things, a system of effective communication system through which people could exchange ideas and feelings; an economic system, the production of goods and services, a health system to counteract diseases and ensure human reproduction; a social political system to maintain, control and order and a defense system to protect their territories against external aggression all these are essential requirements of society, this system of communication formed the mainstay of all other systems, which depends on its effectiveness.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Using mass media for health communication, when delivered effectively, has a considerable potential to promote or change the health of individuals, communities, and populations even in the urban or rural settings. These mediated messages are more likely to be successful and increase the health knowledge, attitudes, behavior, practice, and policy. The importance of using mass media for health communication is to enhance rural based media on communication and development. Thus, it becomes important at this stage to evaluate the effectiveness of indigenous communication media as a means of passing information to the rural people about what transpired in the community and issues related to their health.
This becomes absolutely necessary in the light of the fact that, there is a greater need to use mass media as a strategy to mobilize individuals and various communities to accept and make use of indigenous communication system, to enhance effective health care system and information dissemination to change their, attitudes, beliefs and values towards the use of the media. The problem therefore, is to find how effective mass media in the Olamaboro is.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major aim of this study was to identify the role played and existing mass media of communication in Olamaboro local government as well as identify the effectiveness of mass media of communication in delivery health communication in Olamaboro Local government.
- To identify the challenges facing mass media for delivering health communication in rural areas.
- To evaluate the relationship between mass media of communication and health communication in Olamaboro local government.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions have been designed to guide this study.
- What are the roles and the existing mass media of communication in Olamaboro local government?
- What are the effectiveness of mass media in Olamaboro local government?
- What are the challenges facing mass media of communication in delivering health communication effectively in rural areas?
- What are the relationships between mass media of communication and health communication in Olamaboro local government?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will be of a great contribution towards the development of mass media of communication in Olamaboro local government. It will also serve as a source of information on how the rural dwellers can use the indigenous and modern mass media of communication for passing information in the community on health-related issues.
This study will encourage the general public on the study of mass media of communication and finally, it will serve as a guide to others who want to know and understand how the mass media of communication are used for rural health development campaign.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study covers the mass media of communication use in Olamaboro local government and Nigeria in general; this study contributes to the existing knowledge on the study of mass media by the rural people in the Olamaboro. It also identifies the mass media of communication mostly used by the people of the community presently.[email protected].
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