AN EVALUATION OF THE COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES AGAINST OPEN DEFECATION IN SABON-GARI LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF KADUNA STATE

AN EVALUATION OF THE COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES AGAINST OPEN DEFECATION IN SABON-GARI LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF KADUNA STATE

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ABSTRACT

The effect of open defecation on human health is quite detrimental. The outbreak of cholera and diarrhea has become an annual epidemic in Sabon-Gari Local Government area of Kaduna State. This study therefore evaluates the communication approaches deployed by primary healthcare department in Sabon-Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State towards addressing open defecation and proposes better strategies for promoting behaviour change and healthy living. The study examines the attitude of the people towards the practice of open defecation, and identifies effective communication approaches that can improve environmental sanitation and discourage open defecation prevalence in local communities in Nigeria especially within the study location. Premised upon the Health Belief Model (Becker, 1974)and Participatory Communication theory (Freire, 1983), the study employed both quantitative and qualitative research approaches and the instruments deployed for data collection include, questionnaire, focus group discussion, key informant interview and observation. The targeted population is drawn from Bomo, Chikaji and Bassawa wards with a sample size of 400 respondents.The study identified ‗house to house inspection‘, ‗use of local announcer‘, ‗health talk at various PHC centre‘, ‗the use of mobile phones‘ and ‗radio‘ as the communication approaches used by the Primary Healthcare in Sabon-Gari LGA in curbing open defecation. Based on the findings from this study, the communication strategies deployed by the Primary Healthcare in Sabon-Gari LGA are feeble, partially participatory and incapable of directing the people towards adopting a healthier lifestyle and people are not aware of polio as an open defecation related disease. Meanwhile, Kaduna is one of the six states where polio is currently endemic.The study therefore recommends that the Primary Healthcare Department of Sabon-Gari LGA should employ the use of multiple communication med


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