The role of the media in health promotion has been an issue since 1986. The Ottawa Charter defined “health promotion” as “the process of empowering people to increase their control over their health and to improve their health”, further establishing the media as a key player.

Child listening to the radio. Photo by Elisenda Pons/Inhambane

It is indisputable that the purpose of the media is to inform. But it also has an educational function and influences opinion-forming through awareness-raising, sensitisation, mobilisation, etc.

Radio is the mass media with the widest coverage, as it reaches practically every household. This wide reach, combined with the fact that the listener does not have to have any special skills to receive the message, offers important opportunities to reach remote and often illiterate populations.

In order to inform, raise awareness and sensitise the population of rural communities in Inhambane (Mozambique) about the main eye pathologies, the benefits of good eye health for individuals and their families, and the need for men to support women in getting their eyes checked and treated, the Foundation has broadcast radio spots on the local radio station with the following messages:

  • “Cataract disease is curable once diagnosed, so men and women, regardless of their social status, have the same right to information, treatment and surgery for this disease.”
  • “Have you ever thought that you can have eye health problems and be limited in working to support yourself and your family? And imagine that your wife could help you with hospital care and expenses, but since you never share the management of resources in your family, she will not be able to help you. Think about it, be prudent, intelligent and fair; gender and equal rights are for the benefit of all. ”

To prepare the content, Eyes of the world has collaborated with the Red Homens pela Mudança (HOPEM), a non-profit organization made up of 25 organizations and activists from Mozambican civil society who work to affirm the human rights of men, women and children in Mozambique.

This activity is part of the project that Eyes of the world has underway in the province of Inhambane, with the support of the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD), which aims to guarantee the population’s access to eye health, fight the main barriers that hinder the access of people, (mainly women), to eye care and address the issue of new masculinities.