Making media messages more suitable for health education in the African context
The design of appropriate health education messages and materials is not an easy task, because a complex range of interrelated variables determine the level of message appropriateness. This article focuses on the socio-cultural dimension of health education message design. Messages that are perceived as culturally inappropriate could lose credibility among certain audiences and could even lead to polarization of health beliefs and reinforce high risk behaviour in some communities. Apart from theoretical viewpoints and principles, the article presents examples of appropriate visuals and text within the African context. Practical guidelines are offered to improve the appropriateness of media messages for health education in Africa. © 1998 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved.