Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Health Programming and Community-based Radio Stations in Sub-saharan Africa: An Example from Zambia

Lawrence, John Joseph (2012) Health Programming and Community-based Radio Stations in Sub-saharan Africa: An Example from Zambia. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (1MB) | Preview


A community-based radio station has potential for significant positive impact on the health of a community by providing important information about health to its listenership. This influence is particularly important in rural areas of low and middle-income countries where such stations serve as the only practical form of communication. This study looks at the impact of the health messaging from Namwianga Radio, a community-based radio station in rural Zambia, on its listenership. The researcher sought to determine (1) if the radio station could serve as an effective means of communication in the region, (2) the extent to which the station has influence over the listenership, (3) specific health topics that listeners could recall from the broadcasts, and (4) what ways could the station better serve the health communication needs of the community. To answer these questions, a mixed methods survey was utilized. Participants (n=103) were interviewed orally about basic radio listening habits and health behaviors as well as channels through which they received health information. Participants were also given an opportunity to give qualitative feedback on the health messaging of the radio station.

The findings suggest that Namwianga Radio is an important communication tool in the Southern Province of Zambia. Most of the respondents (68%) reported listening to the radio for “more than three hours every day.” Furthermore, over half of the participants reported getting their health information from Namwianga Radio. The station also has serves as an important influence in the community. All participants said that they trusted the radio station, and 85.2% reported specific health behavior change. Participants also had high recall of health topics.

This project has significant public health implications as it shows that community-based radio stations have potential to improve the overall health of a community. It also suggests that such community-based radio stations might be effective tools for communicating health messages in rural areas with hard-to-reach populations in other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lawrence, John Josephjjl55@pitt.eduJJL55
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSharma, Ravi K.rks1946@pitt.eduRKS1946
Committee MemberFelter, Elizabeth
Committee MemberTalbott, Evelyn O.eot1@pitt.eduEOT1
Date: 29 June 2012
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 13 April 2012
Approval Date: 29 June 2012
Submission Date: 19 April 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 48
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Health Communication, Global Health, HIV Prevention, Zambia, Sub-Saharan Africa
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2012 21:13
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:57


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item