Radio Health is a unique radio-based health literacy programme conceived and implemented byNRHM, Kerala since 2008. It is a cost effective, sustainable and participatory community health education programme. The radio has its own title song and music, to which the people of Kerala have already become familiar. 

Vision    Production Infrastructure  Broadcasting schedule   Coverage    Testimonials  

Reaching out to Unreached    Response from Listeners   Photo Gallery   Achievements

Vision

Health literacy and community participation are necessary for the continuous development of health care system. In Kerala, there has been a perceptible change in demand for health care over the past 50 years, caused due to demographic transition (increasing old age population), changes in disease pattern (increasing life style diseases) and emerging infections. Thereforethe attitude and behavior of general population needs to be modified to maintain the public health gains. The present situation demands a radically different set of health communication strategies, taking into account the changes in information and communication technology and patterns of popular subscription to them. Radio Health aims to build up a sustainable, cost effective and innovative health literacy movement using the possibilities of Radio by assuring wider community participation and incorporating different sectors and agencies.

 

Radio as a community health medium has distinct advantages over television and print media. Apart from its scope for universal subscription, it is techno friendly, cost effective, more democratic, maintains privacy and serves as a platform for coordinating health practitioners: from specialist doctors to the peripheral health workers and ASHA workers. The focus of Radio Health is on primary and secondary health care and health workers working there. It facilitates continuing education for JPHN and ASHA workers. With this view, the content of the programmes is prepared under the direct supervision of expert doctors, public health experts and executed by creative persons and health communication network members.

Inception and development

Radio health had very humble beginnings. Started in 2008 as a district level pilot radio program confined to Trivandrum district through the FM station of All India Radio (Ananthapuri FM, 101.9 Mhz) four days per week, it has now spread across the entire state covering all districts, every day in Trivandrum district and on five days per week in other districts. The expansion was not done arbitrarily. The decision was taken based on the highly encouraging results of an impact study conducted by Rajagiri College of Social Science, Kalamassery on the 30 mins. Programme of Radio Health in Trivandrum district. The study revealed that the programme enjoyed an impressive listenership of 82% of all radio listeners.

‘Radio health’ has been an important organ of NRHM- Kerala since 2008.  It has been spreading messages of NRHM through radio (both FM and AM) in the society especially among rural population; youth and women being the main target group. Ever since its inception, Radio Health has played a considerable role in promoting health literacy in the state. The programs of Radio Health are independently produced and broadcasted through 8 stations of All India Radio (4 FM stations and 5 AM stations). We have succeeded in addressing the 5 topmost public health issues faced by the state viz. Life Style diseases (Cardio Vascular diseases, Diabetes, Stroke), Communicable diseases (Dengue fever, Leptospirosis, Malaria), Accidents & Trauma, Mental Health (Depression, Substance abuse and Alcoholism) and Old age diseases. Each program is being carefully produced by a team of competent and professional script writers, announcers and sound technicians, empanelled through a transparent procedure with participation of eminent media personnel and subject matter specialists.

As a result of five years continuous broadcasting we have been able to build up an impressive repertoire of programs which forms a valuable body of health messages, that could be effectively used at times of emergency for public education on important issues as in the case of Dengue fever or Leptospirosis and other diseases outbreaks. We propose to make use of this information on print- by publishing a periodical and through internet in Arogyakeralam website (official NHM-Kerala website) by way of podcasting. The idea is to transcribe the recorded programs and publish them after due editing. By podcasting the recorded programs or edited versions of the same could be made accessible to anyone at any time through the internet. Once materialized, the information dissemination through these three Media would be highly sustainable and complete.  Back

 

Production infrastructure

The Radio Health has a well-equipped air conditioned audio studio in the Directorate of NRHM, Trivandrum. Apanel of well qualified and group of persons is made available for radio production. Their job is to convert a subject to a message and shape into programmes. Apart from the empanelled professionals, the radio uses services of community communicators and peer group educators as programme presenters and anchors. They also function within communities and homogenous groups, linking radio health to community. The following flow chart illustrates the production structure of Radio Health. The production cost of Radio health is comparatively very small and there is scope and potential for further expansion with a view to enhance its reach and impact. 

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Broadcasting schedule

The current broadcasting schedule of Radio Health is as follows:

Since 2013 April, there has been 2192 broadcastes. According to the All India Radio statistics, the listenership of the programme is approximately 30-50 lakhs all Kerala/day. A category wise list of programmes broadcasted during 2013-14 is furnished below:

No.

Content of programme/segments

Number

1

Communicable Diseases/Infections

60

2

NCD / Life style

65

3

Maternal & Child Health

43

4

Mental Health

35

5

Surgery/Ortho/Gasrto

19

6

Adolescent Health

25

7

AYUSH

30

8

Skin/Eye/dental Health

25

9

Nutrition

15

10

Others

35

 

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Coverage

Radio Health currently has a wide coverage throughout Kerala.   The graphical representation of coverage is depicted below

A large number of public health luminaries, veteran doctors and other experts as Dr. M Krishnan Nair, Dr. ThuppilVenkitesh, DrMarthandaPillai, Dr. KN Panicker, Dr KV Krishnadas, DrBayuleyan, DrRamdasPisharody, Dr. KA Kumar, Dr. Abdul Bari, Dr. Mahadevan, DrSivasankaran, DrSavithriSidhu, Dr. HariParameswaran, DrMohanan Nair etc. spoke to the people through our programs. We have succeeded in addressing the 5 topmost public health issues faced by the state viz. Life Style diseases (Cardio Vascular diseases, Diabetes, Stroke), Communicable diseases ( Leptospirosis, Dengue fever, Malaria), Accidents & Trauma, Mental Health (Depression and Alcoholism) and Old age diseases. Each program is carefully produced by a team of competent and professional script writers, announcers and sound technicians.

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Testimonials

The Radio Health has received wide acclaim amongst its thousands of regular listeners all over Kerala as a reliable source of health tips.

A study was conducted by The Research Institute, Rajagiri College of Social Science, Kalamassery, Kochi, Kerala to assess the 

Radio Health FM programme in Thiruvananthapuram during July 2009. The report says:

            “The responses showed that 85.5 % people have listened to the FM Radio Health programme either on a daily or frequently basis and rated its performance as either good or very good. The figures thus show that public has already accepted/embraced the programme with an open hand but the Radio Health should take maximum efforts to convey accurate and apt information to the public whereby they could frame a healthy life style for themselves.

            “The review proved that Radio Health FM programme of NRHM is welcomed by the people in general. A good number of the people across the different panchayats of the district of Thiruvananthapuram have listened to the programme and had a fairly positive comment on the different aspects viz. content, presentation, duration, resource persons, clarity of messages, audibility and language of the programme. Most of them rated them as satisfactory, or good or very good.  A good number of the respondents who have heard other health programmes in radio were of the suggestion that Radio Health FM had an outstanding quality in terms of its content, presentation and language.”

Apart from this we regularly receive many letters and telephone calls from listener community including patients and casual listeners.

The following cases are examples as to how Radio health has motivated people for social change through health action.   Back

Reaching out to Unreached -NHM Radio Health
Among the regular Radio Health listeners, the role of small scale business people and construction workers need to be specially mentioned. We knowthat they spend most of their time in workplace having no access to media other than Radio. Therefore they mostly depend on radio for news and other information.  All India Radio that includes a wide network of Stations to cater the entire population of State is the main source of information and education for this this group of audience. NHM Radio Health is using this channel for broadcast of health programmes to reach out community.
 

Radio Health heals the fear of illness”

Mr. Sunil Pranavam is one among the regular NHM Radio Health programme listeners. He is a   musician who manages a music shop named   ‘Pranavam’ in Thycadu, Thiruvananthapuram for the production and sales of   musical instruments. Mr. Sunil has started listening NHMRadio Health programme regularly two years back. It helped to in many ways not only in modifying his personal life but to improve the health of his employees. The risky health behavior of chewing tobacco that he failed to quit many times has been stopped through repeated listening of the programme.  His food habits have been positively changed.  He started regular exercise. “Fear of illness was an issue” he says “but Radio Health programmes helped us to get rid of it” Experiencing the impact of the programme in his own life, Mr. Sunil has promoted the programme among his employees and encouraged them to listen it regularly while they are doing their routine work. 
 
The result was amazing. They have also stopped tobacco and alcohol. All employees are married,  programmes on maternal and child health made them more better parents (especially in case of male employees) through disseminating quality information on ante natal care, breast feeding, child nutrition and immunization.  Now, Mr. Sunil and his team have been transformed as a empowered group responsible for their own health. Mr.Anilkumar is a regular listener of   Radio Health.  He is tailor running his own tailoring   shop in city. He has three employees; all are good admirers of Radio Health programme.We can see the radio hanging on the window inside the shop. They have said that the Radio Health has helped them to identify good health practices and adopt healthy habits both in personal as well as social life.  It also helps them to communicate on health in better way. 

“We just listened, but Radio Health made us healers”


 

Mr.Anilkumar is a regular listener of   Radio Health.  He is tailor running his own tailoring   shop in city. He has three employees; all are good admirers of Radio Health programme.We can see the radio hanging on the window inside the shop. They have said that the Radio Health has helped them to identify good health practices and adopt healthy habits both in personal as well as social life.  It also helps them to communicate on health in better way. 

“Radio Health protects our health” a mother and son”

Mr. Vimal and his Mother are regular Radio Health programme listeners. They like the variety of the content of the programme raging from simple tips on preventive and home remedies to high tech developments in medical treatment. They said “Radio Health protects our health” 

 

 

"Response from Listeners"

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PhotoGallery

Achievements

2013-14

1. Total No. of Broadcast in 2013-14 over Ananthapuri FM and All Kerala Network Stations of All India Radio : 2092
2. No. of  Recordings with Experts and at Community level: 177
3. No of Jingles broadcast per month with regular programmes: 550
4. No of Seminars  and Campaigns: 02
5. Planning and conduction of innovative programmes:05
6. No. of Special  programmes including Quiz: 81
7. Community level Radio programme in tribal language, in association with local community Radio, Wayanad: 48
8. No.  of live Radio programmes in association with AIR: 55  
 
2014-15

1. Total No. of Broadcast in 2014-15 over Ananthapuri FM and All Kerala Network Stations of All India Radio (April to December 2014: Total  274 programmes with 1232 broadcast through 8 FM and AM Stations).

2. No. of  Recordings with Experts and at Community level: 108
3. No of Jingles broadcast per month with regular programmes: 500
4. No. of Special  day programmes: 48