Community radio and health : A case study of Yatsani radio in the battle against HIV and AIDS

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Mumba, Edwin
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HIV and AIDS is one of the major problems facing the world today. The disease has brought untold misery in the world since its discovery in the early 1980's. Sub-Saharan Africa is said to be the hardest hit by the disease. Escalating numbers of HIV infected people are reported in this part of the world leading to an increase in the number of orphans and crippling the already struggling health sector. Zambia has not been spared of the pandemic. Though the rate of infection is reported to be slowing down, the rate is still too high to make anyone feel comfortable. Numerous responses were seen in dealing with the problem. Among these is the use of radio, particularly community radio. Community radios have been used in the fight against HIV and AIDS. The purpose of this study was to analyse the effectiveness of community radio in combating HIV and AIDS. The research was a case study of Yatsani Community Radio Station which is a religious/community radio. Specifically the study focused on analysing the impact of these programmes on the listeners and what they felt about them. In this study, a questionnaire was distributed to 100 respondents in the areas of Lusaka district. Questionnaires were distributed in the high, medium and low residential areas.Three focus group discussions were conducted in the three types of residential areas.The Statistical package of the Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used as a data analysis tool.The objectives of the study were; (1) To carry out an audience survey of Yatsani Radio(2) To analyse the impact of HIV and AIDS programmes aired on Yatsani Radio (3) To investigate the form and content of HIV and AIDS communication messages respondents were mostly interested in and identify other sources of media respondents acquired knowledge on HIV and AIDS(5) To suggest ways that could help improve the delivery of HIV and AIDS programmes.The findings of this study were that radio is still the most commonly accessed media and that many people have listened to the HIV and AIDS radio programmes and that they found them helpful. There are some concerns on the presentation of these programmes and their form and content. It was recommended that community radio stations need assistance from government for funding of these programmes. There was also need for capacity building of staff of community radio stations. Though an academic research, the results of this study were expected to help community radio stations in finding ways in which they can be more effective in disseminating health programmes particularly on HIV and AIDS.
Radio in medicine--Zambia , Community Radio