COVID-19 Education Broadcasting through community radio in Bangladesh
ABU member Bangladesh National Network for Community Radio and Communications launched an educational programme series on COVID 19 on eighteen community stations in Bangladesh.
By sharing information and enabling two-way communication on the outbreak in local languages or dialects, the stations hope to reach rural communities with information about the virus and the precautionary measures needed to avoid infection.
The stations are part of the Bangladesh NGO’s Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) -an advocacy group that has been mobilising stakeholders for social disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction (DRR) since its inception. This particular initiative is based on the contention that community radio can play a vital role in building awareness among local communities.
Community radio stations speak directly about local issues and concerns and feature trusted local people in a way that nationally or regionally produced content cannot. Community radio can also reinforce COVID-19 related behaviour change communication being undertaken by civil society organisations, government health officials and locally elected bodies.
BNNRC’s 5 member monitoring teams have been keeping tabs on the situation 24 hours per day and coordinating community radio programmes centrally, providing support as and when required.