Introduction Radio, the major source of news and information in Nigeria, is largely controlled by the state. Broadcasting objective content, and supporting independent radio stations, is warranted. Medical student members of the Nigerian affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War were inspired to bring information about health approaches to violence prevention to radio listeners who had endured periodic ethno-religious and political violence in Jos.
Objectives To use the pilot program Bringing Peace to the People on the independent Silverbird Rhythm 93.7 to conduct a preliminary assessment of listener response to a radio peace initiative.
Materials and Methods The program included interactive sessions by health professionals who presented evidence-based information and answered questions on such topics: Small Arms, Violence and Public Health; and Youth, Violence and Health. A sample of 25 listeners comments was used to assess public response, received via text messaging and telephones.
Results 92% (n=23) had a better understanding about violence prevention as a result of the program; 84% (n=21) commended it; 4% (n=1) suggested auditioning of presenters; 8% (n=2) stated the need for more hands in the pursuit of peace; 4% (n=1) believed the older people should be enlisted in peace efforts. Three youth groups indicated a strong interest in partnership.
Discussion and Conclusion Initial responses encouraged the authors to continue to develop additional programs on violence prevention. However, integration of regular station-sponsored radio programs supported by advertisements will enhance long-term sustainability of such endeavours.
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