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Radio is portable, accessible without electricity, relatively economical and almost
universally available. Hence, this study assessed the role of radio in the management of environmental health issues in Dutse local government area of Jigawa State. Information diffusion Theory, Agenda setting theory and Development media theory served as theoritical Framework. The study adopted survey research method, while questionnaire was used as instrument. The findings showed that radio enabled listeners to be adequately informed about health issues. And this invariably improved their health conciousness. It was concluded that more needs to be done in order to improve access of the residents of Dutse local government to radio to gain more information on environmental health. The study therefore recommended among others that more studies on the use of radio in creating awareness on environmental health issues should be published. This indicates a need for more and deeper study in such area which will help inform and educate the public and set agenda for public debate about health topics.
1.1 Background to the Study
Over the years, health and healthy well-being of human beings have been conceptualized in diverse ways. Health or healthy well-being of humans does not merely connote the absence of ailments and disease. Its sum total also encompasses the proper physical, mental and social functioning of human beings. Health is also influenced by socio-economic, cultural, environmental as well as hereditary factors (Wilson, 1970; WHO, 1978; Deliege, 1983). The attainment of healthy well-being by individuals, and the community at large, is therefore, a social concern because a society can function properly only when majority of its members are healthy enough to perform the tasks that sustains human society. In all historical epochs, human societies have evolved institutions, which provide health and medical services, prevent diseases, treat diseases whenever sickness occurs and promote overall health well-being of citizens (Calhoun, 1978).
Environmental health is rapidly becoming a focus area for clinicians, researchers, individuals, and communities aiming to investigate and mitigate exposures to harmful agents. Environmental health can be defined as “freedom from illness or injury related to toxic agents and other environmental conditions that are potentially detrimental to human health” (Pope, Snyder, & Mood, 2005). Ample studies continue to demonstrate that well-known environmental hazards such as tobacco smoke, motor vehicle emissions, and may lead to negative health effects with continued exposure. Furthermore, specific hazards such as asbestos, arsenic, and radon can be found in rural states and warrant additional concern for their potentially negative health effects. To help communicate the importance of real or potential environmental risks, medical professionals are generally accepted as an educated and trusted source to distribute this information (Miller & Solomon, 2003).
More specifically, the advent of radio has tremendously transformed the way information is disseminated. Prior to its invention, people most especially in primitive African society had their peculiar way of disseminating information such as the use of town criers and assembling people in strategic locations in the village such as market square to disseminate information to them. Colonial masters brought radio to ease their administration and ever since it has been to pass information from government to the citizen and people use it to disseminate social and religious programs because of its capability to reach large audience. Advancement in information and communication technology has brought other means of information dissemination such as television, internet, mobile phones, fax, telex, telegram among other (Ezekiel, 2014).
The radio is intensively employed in environmental health issues campaign. Vast sums are spent annually for resources and salaries that have gone into the production and dissemination of radio programs. Radio is employed at all levels of public health in the hope that three effects might occur: the learning of correct health information and knowledge, the changing of health attitudes and values and the establishment of new health behavior (Noar, 2006). Radio campaigns have long been a tool for promoting environmental health related issues.
Communication campaigns involving diverse topics and target audiences have been conducted for decades. Some reasons why information campaigns fail’ is an early landmark in the literature. Exposure to such messages is, therefore, generally passive (Wakefield, 2010). Such campaigns are frequently competing with factors, such as pervasive product marketing, powerful social norms, and behaviours driven by addiction or habit. Radio campaigns have generally aimed primarily to change knowledge, awareness and attitudes, contributing to the goal of changing behaviour.
Jigawa state was considered appropriate for the study because of the expose of people to greater dangers of various health risk behaviours resulting from some cultural and traditional festivals like harvesting, Durbar festivals, Traditional wrestling events, wedding ceremonies, Turbaning ceremonies, Sallah festivals among others that lead to stress and substance consumption. During these festivals adolescents organize parties where various dangerous substances are used. Therefore, this study seeks to examine the role of radio in the management of environmental health issues in Dutse local government of Jigawa State.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Health is a fundamental dimension of well-being and a key component of human capital. Radio campaigns have generally aimed primarily to change knowledge, awareness and attitudes, contributing to the goal of changing behaviour. A health management system that meets the needs of a developing country like Nigeria presupposes a thorough understanding not only of the reasons why the present radio program system fails to deliver health issues to the people, but also the dynamic decision processes of households to which the radio health program ought to listen. Such a clear understanding will help in redefining the objectives of national mass media policy and those of the active players in the radio health program delivery system. Consequently upon this, the study tries to fill the gap in literature and geographical location by examining the role of radio in the management of environmental health issues in Dutse local government.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study is to examine the role of radio in the management of environmental health issues in Dutse local government, Jigawa State. The specific objectives of this study are to:
- To determine the performance of radio in the dissemination of effective and qualitative methods of environmental health awareness campaign in Dutse local government, Jigawa State;
- To investigate the listeners’ opinion on the nature of cooperation between radio and health institutions as it concerns the dissemination of health issues.
- To determine the problems encountered in accessing and reporting environmental health issues on radio at Dutse local government, Jigawa State.
1.4 Research Question
Based on the objectives of this study, the following questions were raise in order to guide the study.
- To what extent does radio help in creating health awareness in Dutse local government?
- What are the listeners’ opinions on the nature of cooperation between radio and health institutions as it concerns dissemination of health issues?
- What are the problems encountered in accessing and reporting environmental health issues on radio in Dutse local government, Jigawa State?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study is significant because it will bring to the understanding of the reader the true position of radio in the management of environmental health issues in Dutse local government. However, the significance of this study cannot be overemphasized, considering the fact that rapid development of good health contribute immensely to the development of any nation. Upon completion, the study will add knowledge to students and other researchers, policy makers, citizens who can expand it by conducting research in the same field. The study will help to know how radio campaigns have usually been one element of broader health promotion programs with mutually reinforcing components. The study will help to Mobilize and support local agencies and professionals who have direct access to opinion leaders within the target population also bringing together partnerships of public, voluntary and private sector bodies and professional organizations.
The study will help to inform and educate the public, and also setting the agenda for public debate about the health topic, thereby modifying the climate of opinion surrounding through encouraging local and national policy changes so as to create a supportive environment within which people are more able to change their behaviour. The findings of this research work will be of great relevance to the following categories of people. The academics, this includes lecturers, teachers, researchers and students would find this study as a good reference material for related and further studies on this issue. The study will be beneficial to households and health service providers, in the sense that it tends to expose all forms of challenges and prospects they are likely to encounter with lack of good health.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study revolves around the role of radio in the management of environmenatal health issues. This study is limited to the role of radio in the management of environmental health in dutse local government, jigawa state all other places are excluded from this study. This study focuses on the three radio stations in Dutse local government which are New world FM, Freedom Radio and Andaza FM. Hence, all other radio stations are excluded from the study for proper delimitation. This story revolves around the four Health programmes in the three radio stations Lafiya Jari, Radio Doctor, Aikin Likita and Lafiyar iyali. All other programmes are excluded from this study.
1.7 Operational Definition of terms
For clarity of purpose comprehension, the main concepts used in this study were operationally defined.
The Role: The impact of the media.
Media: The electronic medium use in promoting social advancement and development in the society.
Radio: Connected with rays, Radiation or Radioactivity.
Management: A group of personality that are in charge of an organization.
Environmental: is place where people, plants and animal live.
Health: Condition or quality of the human organism expressing the adequate functioning of the organism in a given condition, genetic or environmental.