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Radio Benziger bags award for TB awareness campaign


31 March 2015

Saurav Mukherjee/OneWorld South Asia

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Kerala’s Kollam District TB Centre conferred the award on Radio Benziger for its out-of-box ideas.

New Delhi: With an endeavor to fight the deadly infectious disease, tuberculosis, Radio Benziger rather took an innovative path of disseminating the information with the help of dramas, discussions and interviews and was rewarded for its out- of- box idea by the Kollam District TB Centre in Kerala on World TB day, on March 24.

Focusing on the issue, the Community Radio Station based in the southern part of India, produced a set of 10 radio programmes over a period of two and half months to make people aware of the TB treatment and its precautions, along with the help from district health officials.

"We tried to make the radio programmes as simple as possible, but at the same time our focus was to spread awareness within the community. Most of the affected people are migrants from the northern part of India and barely know Malayalam," said Ferdinand Peter, Station Director, Radio Benziger.

Peter added that after the broadcast of their health programme, there had been 1.5 percent decrease in the number of cases in Kollam district. "More than 2,000 people are diagnosed from this disease in our area and are being treated in different TB centres in Kollam. We felt that it is our responsibility to make people aware and we succeeded in out attempt."

Through its programmes, Radio Benziger discussed several aspects of TB including information about the disease, precaution, treatment duration, DOTs centres, and methods to identify the bacteria that spread the disease.

Programme producer Dr M Venu Kumar said, “Before planning for the programme, we did a small research and we came to know that most of the affected people are migrants. So, we incorporated the views of doctors and experts, wrote songs and dramas and with the help of local artists and produced the programmes. We received a lot of feedback after it, which for us is like an award. We are grateful that we received an award from the district authority, but there are miles to go before we stop."

Appealing to all the other Community Radio Stations, Kumar said that it’s high time that Community Radios should collaborate with other NGOs and radio stations in order to spread awareness on health related issues among their respective communities.

 
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