Mass Communication Channels
Using Radio to Reach Many Audiences
Radio is the most effective means of mass communication in West Africa, where illiteracy is high and televisions are scarce. Radio stations—including mobile stations that traveled to rural areas—broadcasted public service announcements and personal stories in multiple languages, and hosted call-in shows to answer people’s questions and dispel rumors. Health promotion teams also utilized the power of radio drama and entertainment spots to command attention and speak to the heart.
In Guinea, local radio DJ Mahmoud Sillah shared educational messages about hygiene and the Ebola virus in broadcasts from the Red Cross mobile radio station.
This image shows Sillah broadcasting from the Red Cross mobile radio station in the village of Sikhourou in the Ebola-hit region of Forécariah in Guinea, October 7, 2015. Photograph by Tommy Trenchard, IFRC
Craig Manning, a health communications specialist within the Viral Special Pathogens Branch of the CDC, discusses the importance of radio in West Africa and the challenges of producing material. (Transcript)
Africa United Campaign
Launched in December 2014, with support from the CDC Foundation and other partners, Africa United is a platform that leverages sports to catalyze action on health and includes African leaders, international health bodies, private companies, celebrities, NGOs and other multi-sector actors. During the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, its #WeveGotYourBack campaign recruited film star Idris Elba and a team of world-renowned professional soccer stars—all with ties to West Africa—for a series of PSAs, posters, collateral pieces, and billboards. CDC staff worked with Africa United to coordinate the messages.
"This is no ordinary game. This is life or death. Idris Elba gives a team talk to West Africa. Help us beat Ebola: http://WeAreAfricaUnited.org Show your support: #WeveGotYourBack." Courtesy of Africa United.