Role of Mass Media
in Health Education
Presented by : Navneet Randhawa
Under guidance of: Dr. Amaninder Randhawa
POPULATION DEMOGRAPHICS OF
• India is a developing country with majority of
population residing in rural areas.
• According to 2011 census the urban
population %age is 30%.
• The rural population %age is an overwhelming
Literacy in India
• According to 2011 census the literacy rate in
India is 74.04%. This means that over 26% of
people are still illiterate after 67 years of
• This translates to roughly 260 million people
who are unable to read and write even after
67 years of independence.
• As per national oral health survey 2002-03 in
• Age group Caries prevalence
• 12 years 53.8%
• 35-44 years 80.2%
• 65-74 years 85%
• In the same survey it was seen that in children
• Age group Periodontal disease prevalence
• 12 years 57%
• 15 years 67.7%
• 35-44 years 89.6%
• 65-74 years 79.9%
• Incidence rates for oral cancer varies per
100,000 population in different countries.
• As per survey it is 12.6 per 100,000 in India.
• There are about 250 million tobacco users in
India who account for 19% of the world.
• India has 800,000 deaths every year due to
Dentist Population Ratio
• According to 2004 survey
• 1:10,000 – Urban Areas
• 1:2.5 lakh – Rural Area
• i.e ¾ dentists are clustered in urban areas that
have ¼ population.
• The national oral health survey 2002-03 also
concluded that children aged 12 years and 15
years the prevalence of malocclusion was
23.6% and 23.9% respectively.
• Indians have greater tendency for Class II
• Having all these above mentioned
demographic values in mind it is clear that
• Burden of dental problems is very high in India
• Literacy rate is very less
• Accessibility of dental services is very poor,
especially for the rural residents.
• Hence it becomes necessary that a lot of
stress should be there to provide dental
health education on a large scale and
• An efficient methods of education should be
searched so that we can reach to each and
every individual residing in this country to
comply with the saying
• “Prevention is better than cure”
In order to first understand the role of media in health education we
need to under stand what is health and what is education.
Health according to WHO is defined as complete mental, physical, social
and economic well being and not merely the absence of disease or
Education as defined by George F. Kneller, “In its broad sense,
education refers to any act or experience that has a formative effect on
the mind, character, or physical ability of an individual….In its technical
sense education is the process by which society, through school,
colleges, universities, and other institutions, deliberately transmits its
cultural heritage – its accumulated knowledge, values, and skills – from
one generation to another
• Merging the aforesaid definitions we can
define health education as, “Health education
comprises consciously constructed
opportunities for learning involving some
form of communication designed to improve
health literacy, including improving
knowledge, and developing life skills which
are conductive to individual and community
The objectives of health education are:
• Informing people (Cognitive objective)
People are informed about the different
diseases, their etiology and how to prevent
them. Information increases knowledge and
helps people become aware of their health
problems and this helps in preventing disease
and promoting health.
• Motivating people (Affective objective)
• It is concerned with clarifying, forming or
changing attitudes, beliefs, values or opinions.
The mere presence of information does not
improve health. After proper health
information is given, it is necessary to
motivate them to alter their lifestyles so that
it becomes favorable to promoting health and
preventing disease. Motivation has been
defined as “a combination of force which
initiate, direct and sustain behaviors.”
• Guiding into action (Behavioral Objective)
It is concerned with the development of skills
and action a person who has obtained health
information and might be motivated to
change his behavior and lifestyle. However he
might need professional help and guidance so
as to bring about these changes and to sustain
these altered lifestyles.
• Medical Model
The model is concerned with the recognition
and treatment of disease and technological
advances to facilitate this process. Health
information is provided to the people hoping
that they will use this information to improve
their health. However since this model gave no
importance to the social, cultural and
psychological factors, it did not bridge the gap
between knowledge and behavior.
• Social intervention model
However, with the complex public health
problems present today, it has become
necessary to focus not only on the individual
but also on his social environment, which
shapes his behavior and the behavior of the
• Motivation model
When people did not use the information
provided to them, it was felt that just
providing information is not sufficient; the
individual must be motivated to translate the
health information into action.
“a key strategy to inform
the public about health concerns and to
maintain important health issues on the public
agenda. The use of the mass and multimedia
and other technological innovations to
disseminate useful health information to the
public, increase awareness of specific aspects
of individual and collective health as well as
importance of health in development”.
WHAT THE MASS MEDIA CAN DO
• Raise consciousness about health issues
• Help place health on the public agenda
• Convey simple information
• Change behavior if other enabling factors are
WHAT THE MASS MEDIA CANNOT
• Convey complex information
• Teach skills
• Shift people’s attitudes or beliefs. If messages
are presented which challenge basic beliefs, it
is more likely that the message will be
ignored, dismissed or interpreted to mean
• Change behaviour in the absence of other
• Because of such high number of illiterate
people it is a challenge to provide health
awareness to each and every one effectively.
• In order to provide health education to such a
large and diverse population effective means
of communication and mass media are
• The health related stats of India are fairly
average because of its huge population,
meager resources and low awareness.
• All India Radio, AIR, was
started in 1937 with its
Role of Radio in Health Education
• Healthradio.in is an online radio service started by health
and education trust of London.
• It provides information about the following health topics.
• HIV and Breastfeeding
• Mother & Child Health
• Community Radio
• Disaster Relief
• Gyan Vani made its maiden broadcast on March 2000.
• It was an initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development.
• It was broadcast over a bandwidth of 105.6 Mghz.
• Gyan Vani stations operate as a media cooperative with the day-
to-day programmes being contributed by various educational
institutions, NGOs, government and semi-government
organizations, UN agencies, ministries such as Agriculture,
Health, Women and Child Welfare, Science & Technology, etc
• ‘Interactive Mode’ for enhancing and supplementing the learning
• Low cost popular mass medium.
• “Science for Women’s Health and Nutrition”
focuses on improving the health awareness of
women, which often involves dispelling
myths, superstitions and misconceptions
related to health and nutrition. The
programme seeks to bring about behavioral
change among women and, in turn, their
families. It is succeeding on a number of
• Has a broader audience than television
• Can also reach illiterate people
• Economical and easily accessible medium
• Philo Farnsworth
Patents “Dissector” Tube (related
to cathode ray tube)
Mass Medium Stage
• TV booms in the 1950s
• Many of the early
programs steal radio
shows and audiences.
Television in India
• Television services in India were started on 15
Sep. 1959 with the commissioning of First
broadcast of Doordarshan from New Delhi.
• Prasar Bharati is Government Organization is
responsible for broadcasts of Doordarshan
throughout the country.
• Indian DD Gyandarshan exclusive Educational
Television Channel of India started by IGNOU
and Prasar Bharti in 2000. it relays
programmes from various Doordarshan
• Education Media Research Centres (EMRC)
and Audio Visual Research Centres at different
places produce programmes for
• Coverage to large number of people.
• Can also reach illiterate people.
• Can influence public opinion effectively.
• Provides entertainment as well as education.
• Disadvantage is the high cost
First newspaper in India was launched in
1780 by J.A. Huckley.
They are the most popular and widely
disseminated form o fliterature.
They have influence over large parts of the
conutry in any subject of importance.
Some leading newspapers carry special
supplements on health every week.
The only disadvantage this form of mass
media has that it is severely limited by the
number of readers and the percentage of
- Since 1802
• Posters are the most common and one of the
most effective audio visual aids.
• They can be effective even in regions of low
literacy and low awareness.
• The main advantage is that they are eye
catching and they should be artistic.
• The message should be simple and short.
• Should be placed in locations were people
frequent like bus stands, hospitals.
• They should be changed frequently to
maintain their effect.
• Magazines are popular source of information
about various subjects for the population.
• They are a cheap audio visual aid of education
as well as communication.
The INTERNET is a network of
computers, which links many different
types of computers all over the world.
ARPANET was the first WAN and had
only four sites in 1969.
In 1989, the U.S. government lifted
restrictions on the use of INTERNET,
and allow its usage for commercial
purposes as well.
• There are a number of internet sites providing
health education to the community. e.g,
• Information can be accessed via internet at
any place at any point of time.
• It has brought about a revolution in the field
of health education.
• Communities and individuals can be given an
audio visual demonstration of critical health
• The main advantage of internet is its
worldwide accessibility and reach.
• It is expensive
• There are chances of providing misleading
information without any scientific basis.
Therefore, people should be advised to seek
information only from websites belonging to
authorized bodies or associations.
• It is approachable only to educated, mostly
• In the end we can conclude that mass media
plays an extremely pivotal role in the
dissemination of health education among the
masses thereby creating awareness.
• It is also critical in promoting hygienic habits,
facilitating exchange of ideas in the area of
health research which make a tremendous
impact on our everyday lives.
Essentials of Preventive and Community
Dentistry, Soben Peter, 4th
Amit Trivedi, 4th
Internet sources: www.google.com