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Open Access Open Badges Research

Timing of malaria messages for target audience on radio airwaves

Vincent Batwala14*, Pascal Magnussen2, Justine Mirembe3, Edgar Mulogo1 and Fred Nuwaha4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Community Health, Mbarara University of Science & Technology, PO Box 1410, Mbarara, Uganda

2 Centre for Health Research and Development, Faculty of Life Sciences, Copenhagen University, Thorvaldsensvej 57, DK1871, Frederiksberg C, Denmark

3 The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO), Mbale Centre, PO Box 2250, Mbale, Uganda

4 Disease Control and Environmental Health, Makerere University School of Public Health, PO Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda

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Malaria Journal 2012, 11:283  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-283

Published: 20 August 2012



Due to the limitations of face-to-face communication to teach families how to manage, control and prevent malaria, national and local malaria programmes try to reach people through the radio. However, information regarding the timing of radio messages for the target audiences is lacking.


Within a large-scale trial ( NCT00565071), data regarding the time at which people listen to the radio was collected from 1,628 consenting outpatients (and caregivers for minors) attending six rural government primary level health care centres in Bushenyi and Iganga districts of Uganda from February to July 2011.


The majority of households, 1,099 (67.5%) owned a radio. The majority, 1,221 (86.3%), participants had heard about malaria from the radio. Some participants started listening to the radio at about 06.00 East African local time (EAT). The peak hours at which people listen to the radio are 12.00-14.00 and 18.00-23.00 local time. The median time of listening to the radio by men is 20.00 (inter-quartile range (IQR): 18.30-21.00) and women 19.30 (IQR: 13.00-20.30).


Planners of malaria radio interventions need to broadcast their messages within the two peak EAT of 12.00-14.00 and 18.00-23.00.