Mass media reporting of Zika virus in Nigeria: a viewpoint

1Joseph Oluchukwu Wogu, Victor Chijioke Nwosumba, Nkechinyere C. Edeh

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Abstract:

The mass media is known to hold a crucial place in health promotion and campaigns. The mass media includes magazines, newspapers, radio and television. One merit of utilizing the mass media for health promotion is that they have a tendency to reach vast numbers of individuals. The mass media can help in the prevention and control of Zika in Nigeria. This paper examines the realities and myths in the mass media reporting of the outbreak of the Zika Virus. The materials for this paper were gathered through review of reports of National newspapers and magazines, Nigerian radios and televisions broadcasts of Zika outbreak, grey literature from healthcare bodies, and literature search of relevant articles in PUBMED, Google Scholar and Cochrane database. The media was seen as a veritable instrument used in informing people about the spread of Zika, however, many of the reports were fraught with myths about the virus. This generated false alarms and panic regarding Zika among people. More efforts are required by the Nigerian media to transmit more accurately and swiftly, information about infectious diseases such as Zika to the Nigerian public and endeavor to dispel myths regarding Zika outbreak through collaboration with relevant national health bodies responsible for disease outbreak reportage.

Keywords:

Zika virus, mass media, realities, myths

Paper Details
Month10
Year2020
Volume24
IssueIssue 10
Pages5122-5126