Role Of Radio In Curbing The Spread Of Covid-19 In Nigeria

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Role Of Radio In Curbing The Spread Of Covid-19 In Nigeria


Abstract


The main focus of this study is to examine the role of radio in curbing the spread of covid-19 in Nigeria: an Abakaliki Metropolis experience in Ebonyi State as case study. The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants using the convenience sampling technique to choose the sample size in the study. A total of 261 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are residents of Abakiliki Metropolis. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and percentage. Findings from the study revealed that Average prominence has been given to Covid-19 jingle and programmes hence they are not done often to the point that it can create whole awareness on the resident of Abakalili Metropolis. Thus findings concludes that if radio station gives prominence to Covid-19 vacinne programme, this exposure and awareness is capable of influencing their audience choice for accepting the vaccinations. The research therefore recommends that Radio stations need to recognize that they have an important role to play in the fight to minimize misinformation in Nigeria and across Africa thus this should enhance their effectiveness in performing their social responsibility of sensitizing the masses on the Covid-19 vaccination. More so, News and program content need to be carefully sourced and tailored to ensure that listeners in cities and at the grassroots, receive updated and accurate information about COVID-19 Vaccine as this can persuade or affect their choice of taking the vaccination. Lastly, Policymakers and Government should ensure they build the confidence and trust of the masses toward accepting the novel vaccine and as well ensure that government provides it in large quantity to reach the rural dweller.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Radio is a mass medium that uses electromagnetic radio waves to transmit information, education, and entertainment to listeners through transmitters and antennas. The portability, convenience, cheap cost, and availability of free signals make radio a very popular medium in both developed and developing countries. Infrastructural problems such as limited power supply, internet availability and costs, make radio hugely popular in Nigeria. Many Nigerians, especially at the grassroots, live far below the global poverty line and cannot afford to buy televisions, laptops, or smartphones and hence, resort to radio as a key media source for daily information, education, and entertainment. Radio functions not just as a mass medium for disseminating general information and entertainment, but also in particular as a medium for disseminating public health information, as witnessed during the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) is an infectious disease that causes respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory difficulties. It originated from the Hunan seafood market at Wuhan, China where live bats, snakes, raccoon dogs, wild animals among others were sold in December 2019 (Shereen et al., 2020, pp. 91–98) and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020 (WHO, 2020). On February 27, 2020. The index case was an Italian construction worker who had returned from Milan to Nigeria. Since February 2020, the number of infections escalated to over 52,000 with over 900 deaths in August. In response to rising infections and deaths, the Nigerian government issued directives for lockdowns and social distancing in the three worst-hit states of Lagos, Ogun, and Abuja, the country’s capital. State governors also issued total or partial lockdowns in their respective regions based on prevailing circumstances. However, lockdowns caused untold hardships for many Nigerians, due to the government’s chaotic and lousy social welfare structures [Adepohu 2020].

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and The Federal Ministry of Health have been at the forefront of efforts to combat COVID-19 in Nigeria. Both organizations have been active in setting up isolation centers, hospitals, and spaces to manage suspected and confirmed cases. The NCDC has also been engaged in training personnel and setting up rapid-response teams across Nigeria’s 36 states [Ephraim 2020]. However, despite efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, both organizations have been seriously challenged by a particular problem – the spread of misinformation or false information about COVID-19.

Noticeably, the effort of the Nigerian government to curb the spread of coronavirus would not go far-fetched without regular sensitization and awareness on radio and other media tools. The achievement of these feats can be attributed not just to proper healthcare facilities but also to the impacts of radio as a media tool to disseminate information. On this note that these studies seek to examine the role of Radio in curbing the spread of the Corona Virus.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

It goes without saying that the Radio as a media tool plays a critical role in raising public consciousness of current events. However, during this time of global economic crisis, the role of Radio channels should be geared toward improving lifestyles. Thus as a tool to enlighten the masses on the need to practice safe hygiene, compliance to covid-19 safety measures to curtail the spread of the novel corona virus, it is pertinent to examine the role of Radio during this pandemic. It is worthy to note that even while Radio presenters carry out their responsibility they should share hope and not fear or over exaggeration of the pandemic situation as this would have not just a physical impact on the listeners or viewers of such information but also their psychological health is affected. Therefore it is on this note that this study is set to examine the role of the media in curbing the spread of corona virus in Nigeria


1.3 Objective of the Study

This study is set to examine the role of Radio in curbing the spread of Corona Virus. Specifically it is geared:

  1. To examine the extent radio broadcast was used in curbing the spread of covid-19
  2. To investigate ways in which Radio channels enlightened the people on covid-19 prevention measures.
  3. To determine the rate and how far at which Wazobia FM have helped to curb the spread of covid-19

1.4 Research Question

  1. To what extent was radio broadcast used in curbing the spread of covid-19?
  2. What are the ways in which Radio channels enlightened the people on covid-19 prevention measures?
  3. How far has Wazobia FM helped to curb the spread of covid-19?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study would be relevant to the general public and also contribute to the body of knowledge. More. so it will be a wake-up call for radio stations to ensure they educative content in order to help curb the spread of coronavirus. It will also heighten the awareness of Radio users on the need to adhere to safety guidelines advertised on Radio station. The study will enable government and policymakers on the need to monitor content shared on radio station in order to avoid sharing panic-related messages to the public audience as this is detriment to their disposition and could make them loose confidence on the government efforts towards fighting the novel corona virus.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study seek to examine the role of Radio in curbing the spread of corona virus using Wazobia FM 95. 1 FM Abuja branch as a case study.


1.7 Limitation of Study

Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

However in the midst above mentioned limitation the researcher devotedly ensured that the purpose of the study was actualized.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Role:

A role is a set of connected behaviors, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualized by people in a social situation

Radio:

Radio is the technology of signaling and communicating using radio waves. They are generated by an electronic device called a transmitter connected to an antenna that radiates the waves, and received by another antenna connected to a radio receiver.

Spread:

The development or growth of something so that it covers a larger area or affects a larger number of people

Curb:

This is the act or influence of limiting the occurrence of something. stopping the rate at which something happens

Covid-19:

Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is defined as illness caused by a novel corona virus called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2.)


1.9 Organizations of the Study

The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.

The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study. The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The main focus of this study is to examine the role of radio in curbing the spread of covid-19 in nigeria: an Abakaliki Metropolis experience in Ebonyi State as case study. The study specifically examined if the radio audience have knowledge of the virus and its risk factors. It ascertained if radio station provide basic information on the virus in the metropolis. It investigated how often COVID-19 jingles and programmes are played on the radio and determined if the radio exposure and awareness affected their choice for vaccinations or.

The study adopted the survey research designand randomly enrolled participants using the convenience sampling technique to choose the sample size in the study. A total of 261 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are residents of Abakiliki Metropolis. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and percentage.


5.2 Conclusion

Radio has strong potentials to reach ordinary citizens including people at the grass roots in Nigeria and across Africa. Radio remains a strong source for public information in times of health crisis. With widespread panic caused by misinformation about COVID-19, radio can play a huge role in combating the spread of false and misleading information. From the findings, the following conclusions were drawn:

  1. All the respondents in Abakiliki Metropolis indicated that they have knowledge about the covid-19 virus but only average percent of the respondent have knowledge about the existence of Covid-19 vaccines.
  2. Radio Stations in Abikiliki has been using the radio to sensitize the resident of the metropolis on the Covid-19 virus and prevention measures but in terms of providing basic information about the Vaccine only average prominence has been given to it.
  3. Average prominence has been given to Covid-19 Vaccine jingle and programmes hence they are not done often to the point that it can create whole awareness on the resident.
  4. Finally, findings reveals that if radio station gives prominence to Covid-19 vaccine programme, this exposure and awareness is capable of influencing their audience choice for accepting the vaccinations.

5.3 Recommendation

From the findings of the study, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Radio stations need to recognize that they have an important role to play in the fight to minimize misinformation in Nigeria and across Africa thus this should enhance their effectiveness in performing their social responsibility of sensitizing the masses on the Covid-19 vaccination.
  2. News and program content need to be carefully sourced and tailored to ensure that listeners in cities and at the grassroots, receive updated and accurate information about COVID-19 Vaccine as this can persuade or affect their choice of taking the vaccination and more so comply to the safety preventive measures.
  3. Government and private sector support are also necessary for radio to function effectively in Africa. Sadly, many radio stations are underfunded.
  4. Policymakers and Government should ensure they build the confidence and trust of the masses toward accepting the novel vaccine and as well ensure that government provides it in large quantity to reach the rural dweller.
  5. Civic societies should endeavor to collaborate with knowledgeable healthcare workers to go on outreach and enlighten the masses on the need to take the vaccine.

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