One of the forte of mass media campaigns is its ability to disseminate well defined messages to large audiences. With strategic campaigns, audiences are provided with information that influence behaviour change. Akwa Ibom state agency for the control of AIDS (AKSACA) in collaboration with Society for Family Health utilizes media campaigns in educating, creating and addressing issues on health topics.
In Uyo, following the role of Akwa Ibom State Broadcasting Cooperation (AKBC) during one of SFH’s implemented projects the World Bank (HPDP2), the station magnanimously provided free airtime to encourage audience participation in the education and creation of awareness on HIV/ AIDS stigmatization and discrimination. AKSACA project manager, Dr Etuk Nkereuwem and territorial manager, SFH Uyo, Ifeyinwa Okereke, were the discussants on the topic “stigma and discrimination”. The 30 minutes’ phone-in programme had the discussants using the first 10 minutes to discuss the concepts and the implication of reducing HIV incidence in the state.
Within the short duration, instant feedback was received from the audience on the day’s topic. The number of calls received was the highest recorded since the inception of the radio campaign programme by the agency in its ten appearances. Three of the callers described the topic as most appropriate and requested for a continuation of the programme.
The radio station and agency agreed to continue further discussion on the topic in subsequent weeks due to the interest displayed by the audience. Following this success, the programme is presently being extended as a platform to disseminate other SFH existing projects and service provisions in the communities while complementing policy changes on stigma and discrimination.