Perception Of Mass Media As Tools For Sensitizing Rural Dwellers About Infectious Epidemic A Case Study Of Corona Virus In Nigeria



This study used the corona virus in Nigeria as a case study to empirically analyze how people perceive the media as instruments for educating rural residents about infectious epidemics. The goals of this study were to assess the level of COVID-19 media awareness among rural residents of Oyo State, determine whether the media campaign adequately raised public awareness of the epidemic’s causes, effects, and prevention in these areas, and determine whether this awareness had any positive effects on rural residents’ health behaviors. The study’s focus is the rural population of Oyo State in 2020, and information theory was employed as a framework. The population targeted for this study includes all residents of the six communities that were chosen as well as all healthcare professionals employed by the primary healthcare facilities located in those communities. A survey research design was used for this study. The sample size was 400 rural residents, and the cluster sampling method was used. A questionnaire was utilized as the study’s primary tool. Primary sources were used to gather the data.

The analysis of the data reveals that rural residents of Oyo state had access to information about COVID-19. Media campaigns created a respectable level of mass awareness of the epidemic’s causes, effects, and prevention in the rural communities of Oyo state, and this awareness had a positive influence on rural residents’ health behaviors. Following the findings, it was advised that the media campaign on the COVID-19 epidemic, causes, effects, and prevention in rural communities be expanded so that it can reach the rest of the population that is unaware of the disease, and that people follow the guidelines provided to them by the media house. The study’s conclusion is that the public is significantly impacted by the media.

Keywords: Oyo state, coronavirus illness, media, and rural residents.





1.1. Background to the Study

One of the key responsibilities of the public health sector is limiting the spread of influenza to lessen the effects of infection on a community. A media campaign can be utilized to teach the public about the most recent and efficient vaccination procedures, medication regimens, and social isolation techniques.

Mass media has a crucial role in communication, which is a process that is quickly transforming the world into a global community. One innovation replaces another in the mass media sector around the world fairly quickly—it just takes a few weeks. Information and communication technology (ICT) is given high priority by households, organizations, and countries, according to emerging patterns in socioeconomic growth.

The respiratory illness coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be passed from one person to another. The new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was initially discovered during an inquiry into an outbreak in Wahan, China. In China, COVID-19 is spreading from person to person, and in certain nations outside of China, like Nigeria, a minor spread among intimate contacts has been identified. Neither a vaccination nor a dedicated antiviral therapy are currently available to treat COVID-19.

The goal of the sensitization and awareness campaign was to educate the general public on the causes, symptoms, effects, and prevention strategies for COVID-19.

The media, in particular social media, radio, and television, are used as a genuine tool for raising the necessary awareness and educating people on COVID-19 health. Although other academics claimed that only educated people should utilize social media. To properly raise awareness of COVID-19 among rural areas, the Nigerian government used media institutions along with other conventional methods of social mobilization. The television and radio stations in particular adopted the local vernacular or language as their mode of communication.

So, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the amount of COVID-19 awareness among residents of several rural communities in the state of Oyo in light of media campaigns to raise awareness of the disease, as well as the effects of those campaigns on residents’ health-precautionary behaviors.

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

It is a well-known fact that a healthy population helps a nation achieve its objectives, making human health one of the most important factors in its survival. The 2019 coronavirus illness (COVID-19), which was identified in 2019, was transmitted from person to person. Nigeria has been confirmed as the location of the first COVID-19 case in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the evidence we have, COVID-19 is currently in Nigeria.

The patient who first introduced it to Nigeria is an Italian national who lives and works there. On February 25, 2020, he flew into the commercial hub of Lagos from Milan. 2020 (BBC News).

Around the world, more than 80,000 people in around 50 nations have contracted the disease. The majority of the deaths—more than 2800—occurred in China’s Hubei province.

Nigeria’s capacity for the assistance of the media will also be necessary to contain this infection. In light of this, the researcher considered a case study on the corona virus in Nigeria to examine how rural residents see the media as a tool for spreading awareness of infectious epidemics.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

In this study, the corona virus in Nigeria served as a case study to examine how people see the media as instruments for educating rural residents about infectious epidemics. The precise goals are to:

1. Analyze the degree of COVID-19 media awareness among rural Oyo state residents.
2. Determine whether the media effort in Oyo state’s rural villages increased general knowledge of the COVID-19 epidemic’s causes, consequences, and prevention.
3. Determine whether the increased awareness had a good effect on the rural Oyo state residents’ attitudes on their health.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will serve as a guide for this study:

1. Is the rural population in Oyo State able to access the COVID-19 media awareness?
2. Has the media effort raised enough public knowledge of the COVID-19 epidemic, its causes, effects, and prevention in Oyo State’s rural communities?
3. Has the increased awareness had any good effects on the rural residents of Oyo State’s health behaviors?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study will give relevant organizations working to eradicate COVID-19 in Oyo State and throughout Nigeria the chance to evaluate the media landscape for potential modernisation and adjustment. The study reveals how rural residents view the media as an organization that cares about their wellbeing and emphasizes the effectiveness of the media as a tool for mass education.

This study is being conducted empirically to determine how the public perceives the media as a tool for educating rural residents about an infectious pandemic. Because it will offer policy suggestions to the many Nigerian stakeholders taking necessary measures in the broadcasting industry for swift capacity investment, this study will be of the utmost relevance to investors, the government, and the researchers.

Studies on the perception of mass media as tools for sensitizing rural residents concerning infectious epidemics will be pushed to new evidence by the industry’s changing nature, particularly the television station changes, including the licensing of online radio and television stations (s). It will add to the body of knowledge already available on the subject. This investigation will be helpful to; the Academic Community: The study will be useful to academics because it will serve as a foundation for future research and a source for their written work.

Government: This study will make government officials aware of developments in the broadcasting sector. The development of the industry would be ensured by the formulation and execution of policies based on these results.

Investors: This study will also be helpful to investors, particularly those who may be interested in research, as it will help them make judgments about their own investments.

1.6 Scope of the Study

A case study of the corona virus in Nigeria with a focus on Oyo state in 2020 is the focus of this study, which aims to investigate how people see the role of mass media as a tool for educating rural residents about infectious epidemics. Although rural settlements were chosen at random to research, the study spans the five geopolitical zones that make up Oyo state. The focus of the study is on rural residents’ health behaviors and COVID-19 media exposure.

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

The terms listed below have operational definitions.

An infectious disease that spreads widely through a community at one particular moment is called an epidemic.
Disease is a structural or functional disease in a person, an animal, or a plant, particularly one that causes particular symptoms or affects a particular area and is not just a direct result of physical injury.
Infectious: (of a disease or disease-causing organism) susceptible to environmental transmission to individuals, organisms, etc.
The term “mass media” describes a wide range of mass technologies that, through mass communication, can reach a sizable audience.
Perception is the capacity to perceive something by using one’s senses to see, hear, or become aware of it. the way something is viewed, comprehended, or interpreted.

1.8 Organization of the Study

There are five chapters in this research project. The background of the study, the statement of the problem, the research questions, the research hypotheses, the objectives of the study, the significance of the study, the scope and limitations of the study, and finally the organization of the study are all included in the first chapter, which is the introduction. The literature review, which is covered in Chapter 2, includes conceptual literature as well as theoretical literature, empirical literature, and theoretical framework. The research methodology is covered in detail in Chapter 3, including the research design, sample size, sampling procedure, data collection method, data analysis instrument, and validity/reliability of the instrument. In chapter four, data are presented, analyzed, and conclusions are discussed. The summary, conclusion, and recommendations are presented in Chapter 5.



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