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

ABSTRACT

The view of mass media as tools for sensitizing rural people concerning infectious epidemics was experimentally investigated in this study using the corona virus as a case study in Nigeria. The goals of this study were to determine the level of COVID-19 media awareness among the rural population in Oyo state, determine if the media campaign created a reasonable level of mass awareness of the COVID-19 epidemic, causes, effects, and prevention in Oyo state’s rural communities, and determine if the awareness had any positive impact on rural people’s health behavior. The study’s scope is Oyo State in 2020, with a focus on the rural population, and information theory was employed as a framework. The population for this study was surveyed, and the research design was survey. The sample size was 400 rural residents, and the cluster sampling technique was used. The questionnaire was employed in this study as an instrument. The information was gathered from primary sources. The findings show that COVID-19 media awareness in Oyo state was accessible to the rural populace, that the media campaign created a reasonable level of mass awareness of COVID-19 epidemic, causes, effects, and prevention in Oyo state’s rural communities, and that the awareness had a positive impact on rural people’s health behavior. Following the findings, it was suggested that the COVID-19 epidemic, causes, effects, and prevention media campaign in rural regions be expanded so that it reaches those who have not heard.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION 

Background to the Study

Controlling the transmission of influenza in order to decrease the impact of infection on a community is a critical public health obligation. Information on current and effective immunization, pharmacological therapy, and social distancing measures can be provided through a mass media campaign.

The globe is rapidly becoming a global village, and communication, of which the mass media is a vital role, is a necessary instrument for this process. In the global media sector, quantum development is extraordinarily fast, with one breakthrough replacing another in a matter of weeks. Information and communication technology (ICT) is being placed a high priority by homes, organizations, and nations, according to emerging socioeconomic trends.

 

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory ailment that can be transmitted from person to person.

COVID-19 is caused by a new coronavirus, which was discovered during an investigation into an outbreak in Wahan, China. COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in China, and it has been detected in some countries outside of China, including Nigeria, with limited spread among close contacts. There is currently no vaccination or specialized antiviral medication available to protect against COVID-19.

The goal of the public awareness and sensitization campaign was to educate the public about the cause of COVID-19, its symptoms, repercussions, and prevention techniques. The media, particularly social media, radio, and television, is being used as a powerful tool for raising awareness and providing COVID-19 health education.

Although other academics have maintained that social media use is only for the well-educated. To raise awareness of COVID-19 among rural areas, the Nigerian government used media institutions as well as other conventional methods of mass mobilization. The television and radio stations, in particular, utilized native vernacular or language as a means of communication.

As a result, the purpose of this study is to determine the level of COVID-19 awareness among residents of several rural communities in Oyo State in light of a media sensitization campaign, as well as the influence of the campaign on their preventative health behavior.

Statement of the Research Problem

The state of human health is regarded as the most important factor in any country’s survival, as it is a well-known fact that a healthy population achieves the intended results. The 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), which was found in 2019, transmitted from person to person. Nigeria has confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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

The patient who introduced it to Nigeria for the first time is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and flew into Lagos from Milan on February 25, 2020. (British Broadcasting Corporation, 2020).

More than 80,000 people have been affected in nearly 50 countries around the world. Over 2800 people have died, the most of whom are from China’s Hubei province.

 Objectives of the study

The following research questions will lead our investigation:

  1. Is the COVID-19 media awareness campaign accessible to the rural population in Oyo State?
  2. Is there a reasonable level of mass awareness of the COVID-19 epidemic, its causes, effects, and prevention in the rural villages of Oyo state as a result of the media campaign?
  3. Has the increased awareness had a positive influence on rural people’s health in Oyo State?

 Research Questions

The research questions that will guide this project are as follows:

  1. Is COVID-19 media awareness available to the rural population in Oyo State?
  2. Is there a reasonable level of public awareness about the COVID-19 epidemic, its causes, effects, and prevention in Oyo state’s rural communities as a result of the media campaign?
  3. Is there any evidence that the increased awareness has had a good influence on rural people’s health in Oyo State?

Significance of the Study

The study would allow relevant agencies working to eradicate COVID-19 in Oyo State and Nigeria in general to assess the media framework for potential changes and modernisation. The study reveals rural residents’ perceptions of the media as an institution concerned with the welfare of the people and highlights the media’s power as a tool of mass education.

This study is being conducted empirically to determine how the public perceives the media as instruments for informing rural residents about infectious epidemics. This study will be extremely valuable to investors, the government, and scholars since it will provide policy recommendations to the many Nigeria stakeholders on how to invest in the broadcasting business quickly.

Scope of the Study

The following people will benefit from this research:

Academia: Academics will find the study useful because it will serve as a foundation for future research as well as a reference tool for academic works.

Government: The findings of this study will be shared with the government on the broadcasting business. The development of the industry would be ensured by the formulation and execution of policies based on these results.

Investors: This study will be useful to investors, particularly those with a research interest, as it will help them make private investment decisions.

Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms have been operationally defined.

Epidemic: a large-scale outbreak of an infectious disease in a community at a specific point in time.
Disease is a structural or functional condition in a human, animal, or plant that causes specific symptoms or affects a specific place and is not caused solely by physical harm.
Infectious: (of a disease or disease-causing organism) capable of being spread through the environment to humans, creatures, and other living things.
The term “mass media” refers to a wide range of mass technologies that use mass communication to reach a broad audience.
The ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses is known as perception. The way something is regarded, comprehended, or interpreted.

Organization of the Study

There are five chapters in this research. The background to the study, statement of problem, research questions, research hypotheses, objectives of the investigation, significance of the study, scope and constraints of the study, and ultimately the structure of the study are all covered in chapter one. The second chapter is devoted to the literature review, which includes conceptual, theoretical, empirical, and theoretical framework literature. The research methodology is covered in Chapter 3, which includes the research design, study population, sample size, sampling procedure, data collection method, data analysis instrument, data analysis method, and instrument validity/reliability. The fourth chapter contains the data presentation and analysis, as well as a discussion of the findings. The summary, conclusion, and recommendations are presented in Chapter 5.

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