#TalkHealth9ja: Talking Health The Nigerian Way
“TalkHealth9ja”, a new innovative radio show has launched in Nigeria.
The radio show is aimed at providing health related information in Pidgin English – a language spoken and understood by over half of the country’s population.
This is the first time a health programme will be aired in Pidgin English in Abuja (Nigeria’s capital city).
The weekly health talk show will be aired on Friday mornings on Wazobia FM 99.5 Abuja to educate and empower listeners on how to live a healthy life within their environment.
Listeners can contribute to the discussion so that they can be more involved in health issues and discussions that concern them.
Popular Nigerian radio presenter, BigMo, will anchor the programme, along with health practitioner- Doctor Laz Ude Eze. The latter said the programme will “improve the awareness and consciousness of the Nigerian people on topical health issues and provide a platform for them to become part of health policy making process.”
Like most rural communities in the world, poor access to information has been a constant challenge to health development.
“#TalkHealth9ja is a pidgin English health talk show, which is targeted at the greater populace, whose lingua is greatly Pidgin English; not just within the environs of Abuja, but inclusive of its surrounding environs. Its aim is to enlighten the populace on topical health issues and possible ways to live healthy lives within their immediate communities. Though #TalkHealth9ja would be aired on Wazobia FM Abuja, it also aims to cut across other listeners via the web.” said Bigmo, Head Broadcaster Wazobia FM.
As a pidgin-based radio programme, TalkHealth9ja is set to break literacy and social-strata barriers in access to quality health education.
According to a research published in the Nordic Journal of African Studies in 2006, Nigerian Pidgin English is the native language of approximately 3 to 5 million people and is a second language for at least another 75 million.
Therefore, the use of Pidgin English in communicating health related issues to Nigerians will go a long way in effectively passing correct health information to listeners, especially those who are in rural communities and do not speak English or do not feel very comfortable speaking the language.