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Is Science Enough? Health Communication and Health Enabling Environments

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How do societies move from magic or naïve reality to critical consciousness? Is science communication enough for healthy behaviour in African communities? The book’s collection of essays has shown some of the enablers and constrains to healthy living in the cultures they are produced and the success story of poliomyelitis in Africa highlights the long bumpy road to the eradication of communicable diseases and the substantial number of resources, local and international, often required. The chapters have shown the roles of stigma, religious and African beliefs about health and illness, social norms and traditions, social identity, empowerment, social capital and power as well as policy environments in health communication. The effectiveness of health communication is dependent on how well it can overcome these obstacles, but the authors have also shown that some of these constrains can be transformed to tools that may enable the adoption of healthy behaviour. The authors argue that no country is disease-free until all countries are free, and global approaches combined with community-level interventions present better chances of lasting success.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-981-16-2546-6_17
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  1. 1.

    Poliomyelitis is caused by a human enterovirus called the polio virus which penetrates the central nervous system of children under five and may destroy nerve cells which activate skeletal muscles, leading to a condition called acute flaccid paralysis. There are three serotypes of wild poliovirus type 1, type 2 and type 3 and immunity to one serotype does not give confer immunity to the other two.

  2. 2.

    WHO’s first Director General, Brock Chisholm in 1953 proposed to the World Health Assembly (WHA) a global approach to the eradication of smallpox.

  3. 3.

    Edward Jenner conducted the first vaccination for small pox in 1796 as an alternative to variolation which had been in practice since the 1600s. The formalin-inactivated vaccine polio vaccine (IPV) was developed by Jonas Salk in 1953 and adopted throughout the United States in 1955 while the live-attenuated polio vaccine (OPV) was developed by Albert Sabin in 1956 and licenced between 1961 and 1963 in the United States.


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Correspondence to Bankole Falade .

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© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

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Falade, B., Murire, M. (2021). Is Science Enough? Health Communication and Health Enabling Environments. In: Falade, B., Murire, M. (eds) Health Communication and Disease in Africa. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore

  • Print ISBN: 978-981-16-2545-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-16-2546-6

  • eBook Packages: Social SciencesSocial Sciences (R0)