Health communication history and strategies: Reflecting on global perspectives in the Nigerian context

By: Semiu BELLO PhD, Khadijah ALEDEH

Semiu BELLO PhD, Department of Mass Communication, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Nigeria.
Khadijah ALEDEH, Department of Mass Communication, Faculty of Social Science, University of Lagos, Akoka Lagos Nigeria.

Abstract

In the last few decades, one of the emerged research inquires in communication discipline is health communication. Health communication research and practice became a necessary academic engagement among researchers and scholars in academia as well as an essential approach among health professionals to improve people’s health and well- being. Since its evolution, health communication has enjoyed global attention and acceptance both as a theory and practice because of its potential to complement the efforts of medical practitioners and health care providers. This is because health communication can generate adequate knowledge, right attitudes and acceptable practice (AKRAAP) among members of society on various health problems. These are made plausible through the application of various health communication strategies in public health campaigns. This study, therefore, attempts a global explorative context of the historical development of health communication, digging the various platforms and frontiers that championed the promotion and popularisation of health communication as an academic specialisation and a field of practice. The strategies that thereof emerged as the field develops, which enhance the practice of health communication, are further underpinned. The authors conclude by advocating the need to improve and advance health communication scholarship in Nigeria, emphasising the efficacy of health communication strategies, if adopted, by health communication practitioners and professionals to achieve good health outcomes among the populace.

Keywords: health communication, health communication strategies, health communication scholarship, Nigeria, health communication advocacy

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