Communication and public education is vital in health, it enables awareness of diseases, emergent infections, safety and preventive measures. However, health communication in Nigeria is faced with a lot of problems among which is choice of media channels which result in the message not reaching the target population.As emphasis shifts worldwide from curative to preventive healthcare, the need for information, communication and education has become high on the agenda of health planners and policy makers.Many groups have come to believe that entertainment media can play an important positive role in educating the public about significant health issues.It is to this effect this study investigates the influence of Clinic Matters, a TV drama programme on health behaviour of residents of Rivers State (5,198,716).Four research questions were raised to guide the study and the survey method was used to generate qualitative and quantitative data for the research. Data generated through the questionnaire were used to answer the questions.The Australian National Statistical Service (NSS) Online Calculator was used in drawing up the sample size of 385 from the population of Rivers State. The data gathered were presented on tables and charts (pie and bar). The findings revealed that majority of the respondents were aware and regularly exposed to the programme on a weekly basis, the programme was very effective at communicating health messages with most of the respondents attesting that their health behaviour has improved for the better and that TV entertainment education should be used for communicating health message in Rivers State because of its effectiveness. This study recommended that more TV drama programmes like Clinic Mattersshould be produced, health messages in TV drama programmes should be repeated in subsequent episodes because of the transient nature of broadcast media and more studies should be done to fully explore the potentials of TV entertainment education strategies in health communication.

Title page
Table of contents
List of Tables
List of Figures

1.1 Background of Study
1.2 Statement of Problem
1.3 Objectives of the Study
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Significance of the Study
1.6 Scope of the Study
1.7 Definition of Terms

2.1 Focus of Review
2.2 The Entertainment-Education Strategy in Television
2.3 Soap Operas: Making a Difference in Developing Nations
2.4 Clinic Matters: An Overview
2.5 Review of Empirical Works
2.6 Theoretical Framework
2.6.1 Social Cognitive Theory
2.6.2 Health Belief Model (HBM)

3.1 Research Design
3.2 Population of Study
3.3 Sample Size
3.4 Sampling Techniques
3.5 Instrument for Data Collection
3.6 Validation of Research Instrument
3.7 Reliability of Research Instrument
3.8 Method of Data Collection and Analysis

4.1 Data Presentation
4.2 Discussion of Findings
4.3 Summary of Findings

5.1 Summary
5.2 Conclusion
5.3 Recommendation

1.1       Background of Study
The mass media are saddled with several responsibilities in the society ranging from information function, entertainment function, education function, to agenda setting function etc. of which television seems to have a greater way of influencing its audiences through its powerful combination of sound, visual and motion. In looking at television influences, Salama in Asemah (2011, p.339) posits that:

Television influences can be seen as presenting models of behaviour, as providing information which extends far beyond one ’s immediate experience, as giving definitions and knowledge in uncertain and unclear situations, as offering wide range of role-taking models than would otherwise, be available, as suggesting appropriate values and ideas for particular positions.

It is therefore not surprising that public health professionals have started exploring the potentials of the medium as a tool for health education. As emphasis shifts worldwide from curative to preventive healthcare, the need for information, communication and education has become high on the agenda of health planners and policy makers. Many groups have come to believe that entertainment media can play an important positive role in educating the public about significant health issues. In the United States and around the world, public health organizations are increasingly turning to entertainment media from soap operas to sitcoms to reality shows as a way to reach the public with health messages, (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004, p.1).

Brown & Singhal (1999, p.264) in explaining the purposeful use of entertainment-education television programmes as part of an organized communication strategy designed to educate viewers about certain social issues considered the following examples of entertainment TV drama programmes that promote pro-social messages;

In a 1989 episode of "My Two Dads," a popular television series in the United States, the two dads get drunk and then drive home together in their inebriated condition. Their irresponsible drinking and driving angers their daughter, who tells them that they should have decided who would be the "designated driver" before they began drinking. Similar prosocial messages encouraging the designated-driver concept were included in 76 other U.S. television programs as part of a two-month campaign between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve (the heavy drinking season in the United States) of 1989, causing an increase in viewer awareness of the designated-driver concept.

In a highly popular Indian television soap opera, "Hum log" (We people) a police inspector loses his eyesight in a bomb explosion while attempting to save a child. At the end of the episode, an epilogue by a famous Indian film star encourages audience members to sign eye donation cards. In the two weeks following the program, some 200,000 people signed eye and organ donation cards, including one youth club member who personally recruited more than 900 donors.

This shows that TV drama programmes have been widely applied to the area of health

and health care delivery especially in the field of preventive health care from time immemorial.

The power of Entertainment-Education TV drama programmes to effectively promote changes in

health related beliefs and behavior is well documented by several past studies (Whittier, Seeley

&    Beck, 2005; Bouman, Maas & Kok, 1998) These opportunities offered by Entertainment-Education strategy to promote social change are currently being tapped in many African countries including Nigeria, to promote sexual responsibility and health care as a whole.

In Africa, there is an increased focus on birth control, child spacing, family planning and

prevention of factors and conditions that potentially harm or complicate the reproductive health

of women, HIV/AIDS. The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in Liberia, Guinea, Sierre

Leone and Nigeria has sky rocketed the need for adequate transmission of health information

through the media. Presently, the ongoing outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa

constitutes a major public health issue globally, with over 6,185 cases reported, resulting in over

2,909 deaths and a case fatality rate up to 90% in humans, making the outbreak the deadliest

since it was discovered (WHO, BBC-news, 2014). Recent report from World Health Organization (WHO) calls for urgent action against the EVD scourge. According to WHO’s report, cases could hit 1.4 million persons in Liberia, 21,000 persons in other infected African countries by next year; if preventive efforts to curb the outbreak (the largest in history) are not ramped up. This has opted for the design of health promotion information embedded in TV programmes.

In Nigeria, given the high risks associated with health problems, several TV drama programmes are being used as strategy for sensitizing the people and disseminating relevant health information. For example, ‘Future Dreams’ was a broadcast serial in 2001 in nine languages. It focused on encouraging consistent condom use, increasing knowledge and increasing skills for condom negotiation in single men and women between 18 and 34, Yahaya, Fadairo & Ogunele (2009). Another TV drama programme was Wetin Dey ('What's Up?') an HIV/AIDS television drama exploring social realities facing young people aged 15-24 in Nigeria, created by the BBC World Service Trust (WST). Wetin Dey was created as part of a wider project, "Stop HIV” funded between 2005 and early 2008 by the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development (DFID) to address HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health among young Nigerians. A total of 52 episodes of the 30-minute weekly drama were broadcast by the Nigerian Television Authority's network of television stations which started in April 2007. The purpose of the initiative was to raise HIV and AIDS awareness across regional, ethnic, and class divides in the country (Nwanguma, 2014).

The current health issues in the country opted for the evaluation of the efficacy of TV drama programmes at influencing health behaviour. The television drama programme‘ClinicMatters’ is a 30 minutes comedy series produced by Paul Igwe. With the clinic environment as....

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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 98 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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