Awareness Creation on Cervical Cancer Screening: A Study of Living Healthy Programme on FRCN Kaduna

Awareness Creation on Cervical Cancer Screening: A Study of Living Healthy Programme on FRCN Kaduna

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ABSTRACT

The research was conducted to assess the radio programme: Living Healthy, and its roles in creating awareness on Cervical Cancer and screening among women in Kaduna State. Though many researchers have resaearched on different aspects of Health Communication in relation to cervical cancer, there appears to be a paucity of awarness creation on cervical cancer screening. Four specific objectives were raised, which included to establish the number of women who access the FRCN’s Living Healthy programme on radio; list women’s opinion on cervical cancer screening based on the messages from “Living Healthy”; establish the awareness created by the Living Healthy programme on Cervical Cancer; and list the opinion of women on the time allotted to the Living Healthy programme.The theoretical framework on the Health Beleive Model as well as the Diffsion of Innovation Theory were adopted for this study because they focused on behavioural responses of women concerning their health. Quantitative survey method was used to conduct the investigation. Data were collected through the use of questionnaire with three hundred and sixty copies distributed, out of which three hundred and twenty three were returned and found useful. Data were analyzed using Statistical Programme for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings revealed that women had access to radio and were more conversant with breast cancer as the most common female related cancer. Some of them expressed fear and uncertainty on the procedure of the screening exercise and therefore, the need to educate women on the process of screening. It was also established that the time allotted for the Living Healthy programme was not satisfactory. Women agreed that the screening exercise was important and they were willing to submit themselves. The weakness of Living Healthy revolves around the circulation and frequency of broadcast. Most of the respondents believe the programme lays more emphasis on breast cancer among the female related cancers. The following recommendations were made from the findings: more jingles, advertisements and dramas should be slotted periodically to serve as a constant reminder on the need for cervical cancer screening; women should engage in routine checkups; FRCN should identify the most appropriate days and time for broadcast; there is the need for government to work with international health organizations to ensure availability and affordability of vaccines and finally, there is also the need for media to collaborate with the rural populace to analyze the content and presentation of information about the disease.

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

The relevance of information to all facets of human endeavour is unquantifiable. This is because

possession of information is an added advantage for all human activities especially when

organisations,individuals, and other groups need to communicate with one another hence, the

axiom “information is power” (Moemeka, 1981).The mass media created opportunities for

human communication through exchange of ideas to the most isolated regions of the world, and

have played a pivotal role in the fight against diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis,

Polio, (Global Media AIDS Initiative, 2004). Information, Education,and Communication (IEC)

are very important especially when a health issue such as cervical cancer needs to be tackled and

awareness created.

The populace were keen on getting every detail especially on issues concerning health because it

is believed that “Health is Wealth”, and health is a very crucial aspect of development. People

want to be informed, educated and carried along. The only source of getting such information

was through the media. However, the media are seen as not living up to their responsibility of

information dissemination. Media practitioners are also culprits in this regard as they had also

failed to adequately provide the necessary informationto the populace in a timely and effective

manner (Eze, 2009).

Media practitoners require adequate training especially on modern health campaign strategies on

diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, polio etc. Due to this lacuna, the populace

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who needed this information often resorted to other measures such as patronising quacks to get

cure for diseases afflicting them.However, it was pertinent to acknowledge the critical role some

media, especially the radio, had played in the campaign for creating awareness about diseases

such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other such scourges (Moemeka,1981)

The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Kaduna had made efforts in this regard

through itsprogramme, “Living Healthy” to alleviate the suffering of the afflicted.

Moemeka(1986) and Eze(2009), all agreed that radio is an indispensable tool for fighting

diseases and creating awareness for the sceptics and unreachable by other media. The radio

programme “Living Healthy” had been in existence since 1962. “Living Healthy” is a weekly

magazine programme that runs for 20 minutes (9.20am-9.40am) on Wednesdays, and discusses

health issues, nutrition,and enviromental health issues. “Living Healthy” is a perfecet medium

for women to be sensitized on the need for cervical cancer screening.

The whole essense of radio campaign is behaviour change. By combining its ability such as

accessibility, affordability and its reach, the radio’s position is unassailable in this regard.

Moemeka (1981) and UNESCO’s (1980) Macbride Report voted radio as the greatest medium of

information, education and communication. Moemeka (1981) stated that “the media can

accelerate the social transformation required for socio-economic development and therefore can

speed and smoothen the arduous task of mobilizing human resources behind the Nations

development effort”.Similarly, Development Media Theory advocates that the media could be

used to facilitate the process of socio economic development of a country (Baran & Davis,

1995). The theory further holds that by supporting development efforts, the media could be an

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