“Radio is a Key Tool in Ensuring Health Seeking Behaviour” – Harold Thomas

18. 10. 15
posted by: Ibrahim Sorie Koroma Health Education Officer – HED/MoHS

Radio if well utilized is a key tool in Health Education/ Health Promotion not only to ensure health seeking behaviour for disease prevention, but also to improve people and communities to take action for their health, thereby ensuring ownership.

This is according to Harold Thomas, Senior Health Education Officer and Communication Lead at the Directorate of Health Security and Emergencies, Ministry of Healthy and Sanitation.

He made the statement at a regional review meeting held for Health Education Officers/District Social Mobilization Coordinators, Health for All Coalition District Coordinators and Radio Station Managers in the South East Region in Bo last Thursday.

A similar workshop was also held the following day in Makeni for DSMCs, HfAC District Coordinators and Radio Station Managers in the North and North West Regions, including Radio Station Managers, HfAC District Coordinators of Western Area Urban, Rural and Kono Districts. They were included in the Makeni workshop owing to their geographical proximity to Makeni.

The main purpose of these two regional workshops was to review phase two of the UNICEF supported Nationwide Interactive Radio Discussion Campaign which was done with selective topics on health and health related issues across the country, with the aim of raising awareness and ensure health seeking behaviour.

Mr. Thomas reiterated that over the years radio has been one of the key sources of health information, adding that even the 2016 reach done by BBC Media action puts Radio as one of the major sources of information in the country. He continued that the Incipient Monitors’ Report in our past National Immunization Days Campaigns also catalogued radio as a major source of information during these health events.

Mr. Thomas boasted that they were working with a network of over 50 radio station managers to reach people with key health messages/information to change behaviors which they could not only achieve in using only one channel and stated that behaviour change is a process.

He called on station managers to continue their support in ensuring that the country attains/sustains improved health and urged them to at all time come to the Health Education District Offices/District Social Mobilization Units across the country for informed and updated messages on health and health related issues for their broadcast programmes.

In another development , Communication for Development Specialist, Pa Ousman Manneh at UNICEF and Harold Thomas intimidated Station Managers about the upcoming Global Hand Washing Day Commemoration on Monday October 15th, pinpointing on the most critical times of Hand Washing, noting that human hands are carriers of many germs, causing many infectious  diseases  and ill health to humans.

They stressed the need for continued collaboration and support on the side of HEOs/DSMCs, HfAC District Coordinators and Station Managers to ensure sustainability and impact of the project to our people.

The Regional Review Meetings also climaxed district group work with district media plans and key health topics developed for phase 3 of the Nationwide Interactive Radio Discussion Programme.