Health Crisis Communication and Post-Ebola Virus Disease Containment Era in Lagos State, Nigeria - (Pages 23-32)

Ganiu O. Okunnu1 and Rotimi Williams Olatunji2

1Department of Mass Communication, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Nigeria; 2Department of Public Relations & Advertising, School of Communication, Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, Nigeria


Abstract: Sequel to the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Nigeria in 2014, the Federal Government of Nigeria, Lagos State Government and other relevant organisations carried out series of awareness campaigns to curtail the spread of the disease. The index EVD case in Nigeria was imported from neighbouring Liberia in West Africa. The objectives of this study are to assess the extent to which residents of Lagos State were able to recall the EVD campaign messages, identify sources of information and current health behaviour regarding EVD. The study was anchored on Health Belief Model, Social Learning and Social Cognitive theories. The study, carried out in 2017, three years after Nigeria was declared Ebola virus free by the World Health Organization. It was adopted descriptive survey research design with questionnaire as major research instrument. A total number of 450 questionnaire respondents were selected through multi-stage and simple random sampling techniques. Study revealed that: a significant majority (92.2 %) of the respondents were able to accurately recall the campaign messages, 68.8% identified television as their major source of information and 86% confirmed that they still engage in the recommended health practices. To prevent re-occurrence of EVD and other infectious diseases, the study recommended consistent media awareness health campaigns to promote and sustain hygienic health habits among residents of Lagos State.

Keywords: Awareness campaign, public health emergencies, information sources, message recall, hand washing.