SOCIAL PUBLIC RELATIONS (SPR) MODEL FOR ENHANCED IMMUNISATION CAMPAIGNS’ SUCCESS AGAINST CHILDHOOD KILLER DISEASES IN NIGERIA
This study is a critical appraisal of the applications of social public relations (SPR) in the prosecution of the national programme on immunization (NPI), which later became the expanded programme on immunization (EPI). It is motivated by the fact that the country’s rate of immunizations has been poor in comparative terms with both global and even other African countries. The situation is worst in the North-East and North-West parts of the country, with apathy to the immunization programmes culminating in the cold-blooded murder of nine (9) female immunization personnel in Kano State in February 2013. The major objective of this study was a situation analysis of the applications of social public relations (SPR) elements and strategies in the immunization campaigns in Nigeria and a design of an SPR holistic model that will enhance the success of the campaigns in future. For the methodology, survey method was adopted in gathering data, while the data were tested with the statistical tools of Chi-Square (X2) and Z-test. Results obtained show that: Qualified calibre of professionals was significantly (X2calculated (friedman) = 13.577 > X2critical = 5.9915; p = 0.001 < 0.05, df = 2) used in implementing the immunisation campaigns in Nigeria. The right target beneficiaries were also significantly (X2calculated (friedman) = 18.143 > X2critical = 5.9915; p = 0.000 < 0.05, df = 2) reached in the campaigns. Public relations researches and monitoring were significantly (Zcalculated = 2.983 > Zcritical = 1.96, p = 0.000 < 0.05) effective in boosting the immunization campaigns in Nigeria. The degree of accessibility of the media employed in the health-marketing campaigns to the Nigerian target publics was significantly low (Zcalculated = 2.696 > Zcritical = 1.96, p = 0.000 < 0.05), and the social public relations messages used in the programs’ implementations were significant (Zcalculated = 2.49 > Zcritical = 1.96, p = 0.000 < 0.05) to the cultural sensibilities of most of the target publics. Hence, it is recommended that more public relations and marketing communications’ experts be used in future national immunization projects in Nigeria, with full implementation of the five SPR elements and strategies for better results.