An evaluation of the communication strategies used by the Kitwe District Medical Office to encourage Medical checkups
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Medical checkups help to stress the importance of a healthy lifestyle and promote appropriate screening and prevention strategies. In this context, it’s important to provide people with information on the value and benefit of this and for those whose early detection of health problems found with the accurate information based on the latest evidence. This is possible with employing communication strategies that encourage medical checkups, promote good health and primordial of diseases. This research set out to evaluate the Communication Strategies used by the Kitwe District Community Medical Office to encourage medical checkups. It was conducted in Kitwe and the researcher was attached at the Kitwe District Community Medical Office. Using the qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis, findings indicate that the strategies that the Kitwe District Community Medical office uses to promote health in the district include; Information Education Communication materials such as posters and pamphlets. The main sources of information on medical checkups are medical personnel who are deemed to be knowledgeable on health issues. The findings also revealed that the main channel used to encourage medical checkups was found to be television utilized by Ministry of Health on the programme “Your Health Matters’’. Radio Chengelo is also used to disseminate information on various health topics in collaboration with other organisations who are health focused and require expertise that the personnel from the Kitwe District Community Medical Office. The majority of the population have knowledge on medical checkups but the behavioural aspect shows very low attendance of checkups. Most of the people in Kitwe go for medical checkups when unwell and when the condition has reached an advanced stage resulting in unbearable pain. They don’t seem to prioritize regular checkups as a practice that will promote good health. It is, therefore, recommended that the Kitwe District Community Medical Office takes up the role of encouraging medical checkups by coming up with extra strategies that are specifically targeted at encouraging medical checkups with emphasis and concentration on the non communicable diseases in unison, that account for the problems identified with the lack of checkups. Further, messages on medical checkups should be spread to billboards, posters and booklets to reach a wider population and to also have separate centres for checkups.