Dissemination of Health Messages through FM Radio

The media is an important ally in any public health situation. It serves the role of being a source of correct information as well as an advocate for correct health behaviors. The local media plays a vital role as the link between health workers and the larger public. The mass media helps health workers expand their audience reach when this channel is in the form of the radio, is an effective way to persuade target audience to adopt new behaviors or remind them of critical information. Besides informing the public about disease and where to seek help, they can also keep the public updated about immunization campaigns.   In order to disseminate information about the health messages to the wider public, OCCD coordinated with related department at the provincial level and oriented them regarding the importance of health education. The health message dissemination purpose is, to increase the awareness of the community on   health preventive and promote measures which covers the whole province. These messages are broadcasting through the FM Radio and including the key messages which is endorsed by MoPH. The overall objective of these project is to decrease maternal and child mortality through the increasing and raising health awareness of the society and empower rural populations to fight major cause of maternal and infant mortalities.  The main topics focused on:

a) Family Planning;

b) Exclusive Breastfeeding;

c) Reproductive Health;

d) Health Care Seeking Behavior

e) Immunization.

We use a radio-based education to increase CHW and FHAG knowledge of family health and to improve their interpersonal communication and counseling skills. Due to difficult terrain and low literacy rates, radio is an important medium for reaching a wide audience in Baghlan, including CHW with health messages.

Our radio health program was a multi-channel behavior change intervention of mutually supporting mass media programs linked with interpersonal communication and other community level activities. Besides the general health information and awareness we have two other separate radio program: the distance education and drama serial for general public.

The aim of distance education is to increase CHWs and FHAG knowledge about various aspect of the primary health which is included in the learning package. The drama serial was designed to increase community support for the CHW work and improve household practices and care-seeking behaviors.

The radio program covers both health providers and the general public with information and skills on health key messages. The main topics focused on: a) Family Planning; b) Exclusive Breastfeeding; c) Reproductive Health; d) Health Care Seeking Behavior and e) Immunization.