Problem Statement: Many consumers misuse medicines because they do not receive counselling on their disease conditions and medicines. Such consumers often harbour misconceptions associated with medicines and diseases. This has negative therapeutic and economic impacts.

Objectives: To develop a television programme as part of a Saturday morning magazine programme on Television to debunk myths associated with medicines and diseases but with the ultimate aim of promoting rational use of medicines.

Design: A 10‐minute question and answer ongoing serial called YOUR MEDICINES has been developed since August 2006 as part of a Saturday morning magazine programme on a vibrant private Television network in Ghana, TV3. I act as a resource person while the host of the program asks relevant questions pertaining to a particular myth. To evaluate the programme, questionnaires were sent to some viewers of the programme.

Results: Consumers who view the programme regularly have been enlightened on rational use of medicines. Out of 40 questionnaires distributed to the general audience, 35 respondents representing 87.5% returned them. Of the 35, 20 respondents view the programme at least once a month while 15 have not viewed the program before. 85% of viewers of the programme rated their understanding of the terms used by the resource person highly (excellent and very good) while 90% believe the programme has motivated them to adopt a proper medicine‐taking behaviour. 95% of viewers believe the programme answer their health questions. However, most viewers suggested the duration of the programme was too short and would be glad to have it increased and aired twice a week. Discussion: YOUR MEDICINES, a health programme, continues to bridge the gap in knowledge between the pharmacist and the general public. The challenge is selecting the right words for low literate audience to understand within the time allotted to it. Another challenge is getting funds to run the programme on its own so that more time could be allocated to it. In evaluating the programme, a larger study which could explore the socio‐ cultural factors that determine why people view the programme, how they process the information and the real impact on their health behaviours should be undertaken.

Conclusion: YOUR MEDICINES is debunking myths on medicines through television by getting the pharmacist closer to the general public. Viewers feel it is answering their health questions and motivating them to adopt proper medicine‐taking behaviour. It is suggested the 10‐minute should be increased.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Bridging the gap between the pharmacist and the public via tv
My experience with "your medicines"

Bernard Appiah   National Drug Information Resource Centre

Bernard Appiah   National Drug Information Resource Centre

Problem Statement: Many consumers misuse medicines because they do not receive counselling on their disease conditions and medicines. Such consumers often harbour misconceptions associated with medicines and diseases. This has negative therapeutic and economic impacts.

Objectives: To develop a television programme as part of a Saturday morning magazine programme on Television to debunk myths associated with medicines and diseases but with the ultimate aim of promoting rational use of medicines.

Design: A 10‐minute question and answer ongoing serial called YOUR MEDICINES has been developed since August 2006 as part of a Saturday morning magazine programme on a vibrant private Television network in Ghana, TV3. I act as a resource person while the host of the program asks relevant questions pertaining to a particular myth. To evaluate the programme, questionnaires were sent to some viewers of the programme.

Results: Consumers who view the programme regularly have been enlightened on rational use of medicines. Out of 40 questionnaires distributed to the general audience, 35 respondents representing 87.5% returned them. Of the 35, 20 respondents view the programme at least once a month while 15 have not viewed the program before. 85% of viewers of the programme rated their understanding of the terms used by the resource person highly (excellent and very good) while 90% believe the programme has motivated them to adopt a proper medicine‐taking behaviour. 95% of viewers believe the programme answer their health questions. However, most viewers suggested the duration of the programme was too short and would be glad to have it increased and aired twice a week. Discussion: YOUR MEDICINES, a health programme, continues to bridge the gap in knowledge between the pharmacist and the general public. The challenge is selecting the right words for low literate audience to understand within the time allotted to it. Another challenge is getting funds to run the programme on its own so that more time could be allocated to it. In evaluating the programme, a larger study which could explore the socio‐ cultural factors that determine why people view the programme, how they process the information and the real impact on their health behaviours should be undertaken.

Conclusion: YOUR MEDICINES is debunking myths on medicines through television by getting the pharmacist closer to the general public. Viewers feel it is answering their health questions and motivating them to adopt proper medicine‐taking behaviour. It is suggested the 10‐minute should be increased.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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