A 5-Year Content Analysis of Malaria and Hiv and Aids Issues in the Ghanaian Daily Graphic (Newspaper)

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University of Ghana


Background: Health Communication plays a vital role in public health campaigns to prevent infectious diseases in developing world. Malaria and HIV and AIDS continue to be serious public health problems in Ghana. Faced with human and financial challenges, the healthcare system need to experiment new ways to promote health and create awareness to the greater population. The press therefore can be harnessed to promote the health of their audiences. Objective: This study examined the nature and content as well as spectrum of malaria and HIV issues reported in the Daily Graphic Newspaper from 2006 to 2010. Methods: A 5-year content analysis of health messages (malaria and HIV and AIDS) in the Daily Graphic newspaper was undertaken in a systematic, objective and quantitative manner. 260 editions of the newspaper were selected and reviewed using the composite week sampling technique. A coded checklist was used to guide the data collection process. Results: Malaria and HIV and AIDS issues received very low attention in the paper with coverage of less than 1%. The mean for malaria issues for the period (2006-2010) was 0.22 with a standard deviation of ±0.48 and that of HIV and AIDS news was 0.51 with standard deviation of ±0.79. Coverage of malaria news was low as compared to coverage of HIV news over the 5 year period. 86% of the malaria and HIV issues reported focused on prevention and control strategies. Only 2% of malaria and HIV issues were placed on the front page of the paper. An encouraging 35% of the original authors of health messages were health personnel. The newspaper gave attention to other public health issues over the period. Conclusion: Malaria and HIV continue to be a burden on the health of Ghanaians and there is the need to collectively fight for prevention and further eradication. The media can be harnessed to promote the health of their audiences. Though HIV and AIDS news received much coverage over the period, there is the need to improve on both coverage of all health issues and more attention to the column in which health news are placed. An encouraging number of the authors of health news in the paper were health practitioners. Stronger collaboration between the media and stakeholders in health as well as the government support is critical for improving health communication and reducing the burden of diseases on the populace.


Thesis (MSc) - University of Ghana, 2015