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Disease prevention: WHO partners popular Hausa singer to deliver health messages in North-East

By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – The World Health Organisation, WHO, has said it is working with popular Hausa musician, Binta Labaran, also known as Fati Niger, to create awareness and educate people on preventive behaviours against cholera, meningitis, malaria, Lassa and yellow fever.

Nigerian children in the North East

This was announced in a statement by WHO Nigeria’s Communication Officer, Ms Charity Warigon, at the weekend.

According to the statement, “WHO’s decision to work with the popular Hausa singer to deliver health messages on selected priority diseases is based on research of the effectiveness of entertainment-education as a strategy for behaviour changes.

“WHO plans to broadcast nearly 7 500 preventive health message songs on prime time radio stations in the north-east Nigeria in the next three months timed to match the seasonal trends for meningitis, cholera and Lassa fever. The songs are expected to entertain, stimulate discussions, educate and increase peoples’ knowledge on how to protect themselves from these diseases.”

In a similar vein, WHO Head of Emergency Health Operations, Dr. Dereje Ayana, said: “Millions of people in north-east Nigeria have not had access to basic healthcare services in years as a result of the massive destruction of health facilities in the last 9 years of armed conflict in the region. Hence, it is urgent and essential to provide the vulnerable people with real-time preventive messages on common priority diseases in the region in addition to the direct healthcare services being provided by WHO.”

Vanguard reports that Fati Niger, a Kano-based artist, originally from Niger Republic, gained fame in 2010 when she released her first major album called ‘Girma Girma,’ which sold millions of copies in Northern Nigeria.

The uniquely voiced singer, producer and actress has also been in Kannywood, Hausa-language cinema, for over 10 years and has more than 3, 000 songs to her credit.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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