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    125453

    Country watch: Comoros and Morocco.

    Brunger W

    AIDS / STD HEALTH PROMOTION EXCHANGE. 1996; (4):8-9.

    The European Commission (EC) supports programs using radio to inform and educate about HIV and AIDS in developing countries, particularly with regard to illiterate or rural populations. In 1992, in Comoros (where 80% of adults and 65% of persons aged 15-25 listen to radio and there is no national television and only one printed medium--a French magazine), as part of a National AIDS Programme initiative aimed at mobilizing youth and women leaders, two journalists of the national radio channel produced an EC-supported series of 20 radio programs that were broadcast twice weekly every other week as part of the popular program "Sante" (Health). A series of 11 programs were broadcast in 1994-95 by Radio Comoros and by two private stations that were popular with youth. Surveys showed the following: 1) the popular shows were the main source of information on HIV/AIDS and were particularly successful in rural communities when broadcast in the local language; 2) the majority of villagers wanted this and other health information to continue; and 3) public information regarding sexuality was accepted by a large majority. The radio series caused Islamic religious leaders to discuss HIV prevention and condoms. An EC-supported project in Morocco occurred in 1993. The 3-month national information campaign about HIV/AIDS covered myths and rumors, infection risks, prevention measures, the disease and women and youth, the epidemic's socioeconomic impact, the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and the role of the media. A 1-hour program in Arabic was broadcast twice a week for 24 weeks, 12 30-minute programs were broadcast in three Berber dialects, and several short spots were aired daily. The program format included presentations and discussions by health staff, psychologists, sociologists, and NGO staff; listener participation was allowed. 1000 men and 700 women were surveyed using a questionnaire. Roadside interviews were conducted in some cities. These showed that the information was understood. Many listeners criticized the lack of information on television and wanted more information broadcast.
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