By Steve Ikechi
There is no doubt as to the reality of the task presently on the shoulders of the government, the Federal Ministry of Health and the people of Nigeria: The urgent need to break Ebola’s vector chain of transmission and put a stop to its spread while waiting patiently for a break through on the search for an effective drug as well as a vaccine on Ebola.
Substantially, the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Health, the medics and the mass media are all making an impressive impact. They are not given up in their effort to sensitize the public, create the awareness needed , treat cases, safely remove the dead for burial as well as quarantine infected suspects. Infact, if this level of effort witnessed so far is maintained by the Federal Government, there will be no second guessing our capacity to deal with Ebola and stop its spread in Nigeria.
In complementing this effort, I am calling on the Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Health to adopt and implement the use of permanently pitched standing advert; albeit bill board in this on going awareness campaign. It will provide long lasting and enduring effect than the use of print and electronic media.
Print and electronic media usually become monotonous and get sucked into serious nation issues. Again, the cost of sustaining it for long period is monumental and a huge drain on government’s dwindling budget.
Messages conveyed through the print and electronic Media eventually are short lived and consequently not be the best media of choice for long term sustenance of public awareness campaign. Print and electronic media usually are best used for short term effective and immediate dissemination of information to the public.
Permanently pitched advert bill board has the advantage of sustaining long period of public awareness and, most importantly, is less expensive.
Permanently pitched standing advert on Ebola placed in strategic areas such as sports stadia, on free way or express way, etc, in states deemed as high risk state, will continually and effectively keep the public awareness going to any length.
More so, a permanently pitched standing advert speaks for itself, a constant reminder and a resounding warning to the public on the Ebola virus.
East African countries, Uganda and Kenya that have had more than five experiences over ten years period with Ebola out break, points to the fact that Ebola’s progression and occurrences overtime requires long period of sustenance of public awareness campaign. Simple message on a standing Bill board that is clear to all and sundry on Ebola will crown all the effort.
•Ikechi is National co-ordinator, Centre for National Progress.