BBC Media Action has worked in Sierra Leone since 2007, using multiple platforms including radio, mobile, social media and interpersonal communication to address three key themes: governance and rights, health, and resilience and humanitarian response.
Community access to health information is particularly valuable in countries with low numbers of health professionals, such as Sierra Leone. To understand more about the role media and communication can play in Sierra Leone, and the ways it can support efforts to rebuild the health system, BBC Media Action carried out a programme of research in Sierra Leone in late 2015.
Using data from a national survey and from a qualitative study in four communities, this report looks at the potential role that communication could play in community health. The report shows there is strong interest from Sierra Leoneans in receiving more health information, but that many people tend to be passive recipients of this information rather than actively seeking it out – unless they face an emergency or particular health crisis. The implications for mass communication are discussed.