THE EFFECTIVENESS OF RADIO IN EDUCATING NIGERIAN WOMEN ON IMMUNIZATION.PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF EFCC’S PERFORMANCE FROM 2003 – 2007
This study was carried out with the sole objective of determining the Effectiveness of Radio in Educating Nigerian Women on Immunization. A Case Study of Oru-East L.G.A of Imo State. The researcher identified the research problems and used them to raise four research questions and four research hypotheses. Literature relating to the topic under study was reviewed through both primary and secondary sources of literature. The researcher used survey research design that enables her to seek for experts opinions on the topic as well as collect data and interpret same. Also, the researcher used 200 respondents as the sample size used to represent the population of the study. She analyzed the data for the study and tested the hypotheses formulated therein. The findings of the study showed that radio has helped in educating Nigerian women on immunization etc. The researcher summarized the topic under study drawn conclusion and made recommendations based on the findings of the study.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Communication is central to every human activity. The mass media are potent channels for communicating with or reaching a mass, heterogeneous, scattered and often transitory audience. Just as communication is indispensable in any human activity, the mass media, particularly radio broadcasting is very vital to the creation of awareness one health related issues, particularly when such health related issue have a lot to do with children who cannot easily identify or properly explain their body changes as a result of illness.
For children to be given adequate treatment and immunization against certain diseases that take their lives untimely, parents, particularly mothers needs to know about the existence of immunization porgrammes as well as to be adequately informed about the nature of the programmes meant to immunize their children against diseases. It is through such health programmes that women (mothers) know and understand the level of contribution required from, the merits and demerits of participating or not participating on such health programmes meant to immunize their wards against certain diseases.
According to Nwabueze (2005: 1) “The mass media are channels through which ideas experiences values or messages sought are shared with or relayed to a large heterogeneous, scattered audience”.
Radio is mass medium, it is said to have been used in reaching people without delay. That is, radio has the characteristic of commanding immediacy and acted upon by the listener. Radio broadcasting ought to be used in the education of women on immunization. This can be said to be of great importance for easy information on immunization and other related children health matters because, it (radio) makes use of local language, can easily be used to reach many people than other mass media as well as because of the fact that it is cost effective.
In this contribution to the role of broadcasting in public enlightenment, Effiong (1999: 6) states that “Radio and television services as major sources of information and enlightenment for the public … broadcast practical information for use in home making, shopping, family health, child rearing and upbringing”. Also, Effiong (Supra) citing Agba (1999:10) states that;
The media can help to remove resistance to innovations of development nature through public enlightenment .. that without people understanding and being involved, change is almost impossible to achieve.
It is clear from the above statement that mass participation of women on the issue of immunization will encourage efforts resulting from mass mobilization of the women by the media, particularly radio, which is an important broadcast arm of the mass media. In doing this, radio could be said to be a means to provide mobilization, sensitization, socialization and participation of women on the best way to approach and understand the concept of immunization of their children. Radio has many things in terms of advantages, roles and functions in helping to educate women in our urban areas on how to immunize their wards.
As Nwosu and Ukozor (2003: 67) point out “Radio breaks the barriers of distance, as its reach is amazingly wide and highly penetrating. Appeals to illiterate audiences as … news and programmes can be broadcast to them not just in their native languages but also in their local dialects.
It is based on the above made statement that the need to use radio to get urban women involved in the immunization issue as a health strategy meant to curb the spread of children’s diseases, becomes imperative.
Radio, health workers, the general public and other mass media, can unit to achieve the objectives for which the immunization programme is meant to achieve. As Okenwa (2002: 1) Opines, “Media exposure, media access, and media use are three distinct variables that can guarantee media impact which is at the very heart of development”. Radio seems to provide the opportunity for reaching women on the issue of immunization based on a careful logical and empirical approach.