Traditional Communication and Health Awareness in Abak-Akwa Ibom, Nigeria


Research Paper (undergraduate), 2017
15 Pages, Grade: A

Excerpt

Table of Contents

1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

2 LITERATURE REVIEW.
2.1 WHAT IS TRADITIONAL COMMUNICATION AND ITS MEDIA
2.2 TAXONOMY OF TRADITIONAL MEDIA SYSTEMS
2.3 THE INTERACTIVE POWER OF LOCAL AND TRADITIONAL COMMUNICATION
2.4 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

4. DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.1 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

5. CONCLUSION

6 RECOMMENDATIONS

REFERENCES

ABSTRACT

The study examines the uses and impact of traditional communication as effective tool for creating health awareness in Abak rural region. The study is predicated on the research problem that the Western modern mass media which have dominated the landscape of Abak rural region have not been very effective in mobilising the grassroots who are mostly rural, poor and illiterate for development. Adopting the survey research method using primary and secondary data sources a sample size of 175 drawn from Abak, were selected for the study. Simple percentages, tables, frequencies and charts were used to analyse the data. The findings shows that traditional communication is useful and effective for creating health awareness; traditional communication or media tools exist for creating health awareness; traditional communication media can be strategically used to reach the rural populace; there are significant hindrances to effective utilization of traditional communication media; and there are policies and projects that boost the use and impact of tradition communication. The recommendations are effective needs assessment, effective use of traditional communication media to reach the grassroots given their low literacy level, for adequate awareness, sensitisation and mobilisation for development, proper funding of traditional communication to preserve cultural values and heritage, greater involvement of traditional institutions and persons for effective creating health awareness.

1 INTRODUCTION

Traditional media are communication channels which reflect the culture of a given group of people, most especially within Africa societies. These channels of communication are not merely introduced to the people like the mass media, but are part and parcel of the way of life of these groups of people (Nwabueze, 2007; Nwodu and Nwanmuo, 2006). Traditional media have also been identified as folk media or Ora media (Ugboajah, 1985) include the town crier, church, village square, market place, Igwe-in-council, dance or music, divination, native language, proverbs, folklores, etc. They make it possible for messages to be packaged and transferred in locally popular artistic forms. This cannot be rivalled by any other means of communication with regard to reaching the rural dwellers.

Also, traditional media refer to conservative means of communication as practiced by various global communities and cultures from ancient times. Folk media are some of the most vibrant representations of traditional media because they reflect communication channels for, by, and of the common people of a society or region. Traditional media are vehicles of communication which are rich in variety. They are readily available and economically viable. They win the confidence of rural masses, as they are still alive (Akpabio, 2011).

Traditional media are very useful to deal with sensitive issues of health, where face to face communication may not be suitable. During the freedom struggle, many of these performing arts have played a vital role in spreading the spirit of freedom movement. In our country, the government has been successful in spreading messages of family planning, polio immunisation etc. through traditional media (Wilson 1987). Therefore, communicators have to test different categories of traditional performances to identify the ones that are flexible enough to absorb development messages to meet the contemporary needs; flexibility is the most important factor (Udomisor, 2007).

However, today, it is a wide belief that the advent of New Communication Technology (NCT) has brought forth a set of opportunities and challenges for traditional media (Garrison, 1996) cited in Salman, Ibrahim, Yusof, Mustaffa and Mahbob (2011). The presence of new media, television, radio and then the Internet in particular, has posed a challenge to traditional media (Domingo & Heinonen, 2008). But, despite the pressure mounted on the traditional media by the new media, the place and relevance of traditional media of communication cannot be sidelined.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

It is believed that the mass media have dominated the political, socio-cultural and development space of Abak rural region. But they have not been all that effective in communicating and mobilising the grassroots who are mostly rural, poor and illiterate for development, politicking and other vital aspects that need the masses to force them into operation such as health. Consequently, there is a pervasive feeling of alienation and marginalization by the grassroots which portends grave danger to the people of Abak.

Thus, the traditional media which are rooted in the people’s culture are considered very effective or more effective in grassroots mobilisation for development in health, in term of awareness and participation especially with the global paradigm shift to bottom-up approach to development and globalisation (which is contextualising global events to local situations). It is to this end that, the study which to answer the question: How can traditional communication be used as an effective tool for creating awareness about health issues and help the implementation of health policies to the rural populace of Abak?

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The objectives of this study were to:

i. determine if traditional media can be strategically used to reach the rural populace of Abak with health issues;
ii. find out how traditional communication can be used as an effective tool for creating awareness about health issues to the rural populace of Abak;
iii. identify traditional media tools used for creating awareness about health issues to the rural populace of Abak;
iv. ascertain the possible hindrances to effective utilisation of traditional media for creating awareness about health issues to the rural populace of Abak

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research question guided the operation of this study:

i. To what extent can traditional media be strategically used to reach the rural populace of Abak with health issues?
ii. How traditional communication can be used as an effective tool for creating awareness about health issues to the rural populace of Abak?
iii. What are the traditional media tools used for creating awareness about health issues to the rural populace of Abak?
iv. What are the possible hindrances to effective utilisation of traditional media for creating awareness about health issues to the rural populace of Abak?

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The significance of the study cannot be overemphasised. It is so significant in the following ways:

It will enable the agencies concerned with creating awareness on health issues to known how powerful traditional communication can be as effective advertising tools. The study will enable the rural dwellers to compare and contrast between modern and traditional communication, the latter and more effective in brining development to their areas. It will also serve as reference materials for other the researchers and scholars carrying out research similar to the present study. In case, there are areas or issues that are perceived not to be treated in detail or comprehensively, the study will help to elicit curiosity, capable of inciting research interest in this area.

2 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 WHAT IS TRADITIONAL COMMUNICATION AND ITS MEDIA

Traditional Communication Systems refer to all organised processes of production and exchange of information managed by rural communities. Their tools, like traditional theatre, masks and puppets performances, tales, proverbs, riddles and songs, should be seen as cultural and endogenous response to different community needs for information, education, social protest and entertainment. These systems are often used to solve the contradiction between the need for change (development) of a rural community and the need to preserve its cultural values. After all, these values ensure that the changes are acceptable by all social groups of the community. On the other hand, all communication processes based on media which are not created and managed by the rural community themselves, like radio, video and television, are not perceived as traditional oriented and are considered external to the rural community (Ilo, 2011).

The traditional system of communication is a continuous process of information dissemination, entertainment and education used in societies which have not been seriously dislocated by western culture or any other external influence as is the case in many parts of the world. The system even operates in urban centres which have accepted to manipulate western media system for the purpose of enhancing the socio-economic development of these areas. Thus some methods of communication which hitherto belonged to the traditional system no longer operate because social and economic activities have made it possible to create the contexts of them. For example, communication with fire as a means of attracting attention or notifying a neighbouring community of an event does not seem to have a place today in any of our societies except perhaps among the mountain tribes and among hunters and adventurers in some places.

2.2 TAXONOMY OF TRADITIONAL MEDIA SYSTEMS

It was in 1981 that Des Wilson working in the Cross River area of Nigeria approached the virgin land of traditional media taxonomy through a systematic study, classification, analysis and understanding of the various media processes and content within the traditional context. The Theatre Workshop experimentation recommended by experts in Botswana in 1979 and studies by Nwunell (1981) have also contributed to our knowledge of the traditional media system.

There are numerous traditional forms of communication in Nigeria's old Calabar province. These are the various forms which the fabled town crier employs in his different communication roles. They can be broadly divided into eleven classes, namely:

(i) Idiophones: These are self-sounding instruments or technical wares which produce sound without the addition or use of an intermediary medium. The sound or message emanates from the materials from which the instruments are made and they could be shaken, scratched, struck, pricked (pulled) or pressed with the feet. In this group we have the gong, woodlock, wooden drum, bell and rattle,
(ii) Membranophones: These are media on which sound is produced through the vibration of membranes. They include all varieties of skin or leather drum. These drums are beaten or struck with well-carved sticks. Among the various Nigerian groups, skin drums of various sizes and shapes abound. Perhaps the most popular, because it is the most exposed and intricate in its craftsmanship, is the Yoruba talking drum, locally called 'dundun'
(iii) Aerophones: These are media which produce sound as a result of the vibration of a column of air. They comprise media of the flute family, whistle reed pipes, horns and trumpets,
(iv) Symbolography: This simply means symbolic writing or representation. Communication takes place when an encoder uses graphic representations to convey a message which is understood within the context of a known social event and an accompanying verbal message. It is a descriptive representational device for conveying meaning.
(v) Signals: These are the physical embodiments of a message. Many ancient signals are still being used for modern communication today. For example, in Nigeria, there is hardly a broadcasting station which does not utilize drum signals to draw the attention of its listeners to the fact that they are about to begin transmission for the day, deliver their main news broadcast or announce time, close down or prepare for the broadcast of the local or national leader. Some of the signals include fire, gunshots, canon shots, drum (wooden or skin).
(vi) Signs: Marks which are meaningful, or objects or symbols used to represent something are signs. Sign language (i.e. a system of human communication by gestures) has been developed for the deaf. Signs are associated with specific denotative meanings while symbols usually carry along with them connotative meanings as well.
(vii) Objectifies: Media presented in concrete forms which may have significance for a specific society only or may be universal through their traditional association with specific contextual meanings. These include: kola nut, the young unopened bud of the palm frond, charcoal, White Pigeon or fowl, white egg, feather, cowries, mimosa, flowers, sculptures, pictures, drawing, the flag etc.
(viii) Colour schemes: This is the general conception and use of combination of colours in a design to convey some meanings. Colour uses the advantages of pictorial communication by combining the speed of its impact and freedom from linguistic boundaries to achieve instant and effective communication. Among the prominent colours used to communicate different meanings among the Cross River people are: red, white black, green, yellow, brown and turquoise.
(ix) Music: Itinerant musical entertainment groups sing satirical songs, praise songs, and generally criticize wrong doings of individuals in society. Names of those being satirized or praised may be mentioned or descriptions of their physical or personality attributes, where they live, or what they do may form part of such songs. Such groups as itembe, kokoma, ekpo, ekong and age grade choral groups perform these functions. They are potent sources of information and the latest gossip. This is as Jacobson (1969:334) points out 'an unconsummated symbol which evokes connotation and various articulation, yet is not really defined'.
(x) Extra-mundane communication: This is the mode of communication between the living and the dead, the supernatural or supreme being. This is usually done through incantation, spiritual chants, ritual, prayers, sacrifice, invocation, séance, trance, hysterics or liberation. This is a multi-dimensional communication transaction which has become more pervasive in all societies most especially in Africa.
(xi) Symbolic displays: These would be cultural-specific or may have universal significance and some of their characteristics are shared even with primates e.g. smiling, sticking out the tongue, expression of anger, disgust, happiness, and fear, the way we walk, or sit, gestures we use, voice qualities and other facial expressions.

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Details

Title
Traditional Communication and Health Awareness in Abak-Akwa Ibom, Nigeria
Grade
A
Author
Year
2017
Pages
15
Catalog Number
V489776
ISBN (eBook)
9783668971073
Language
English
Tags
traditional, communication, health, awareness, abak-akwa, ibom, nigeria
Quote paper
Edikan Ukpong (Author), 2017, Traditional Communication and Health Awareness in Abak-Akwa Ibom, Nigeria, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/489776

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