Effect of a football-based mass media campaign intervention on awareness and knowledge of neglected tropical diseases in Nigeria: a propensity score matching analysis
Nigeria accounts for the largest burden of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Africa with over 128 million people requiring treatment. In the fight to end NTDs, influential football stars with large followership have been used to support campaigns targeted at eliminating NTDs. END Fund supported a mass media campaign featuring William Troost-Ekong, an influential Nigerian footballer to promote uptake of NTD preventive treatment. The goal of the campaign was to ensure that more people seek treatment for these devastating diseases.
The study was aimed at evaluating three intermediate outcomes of The END Fund NTD mass media campaign: knowledge, awareness and ideation.
The evaluation was based on a cross-sectional study design using propensity score matching methodology. A structured questionnaire was used to elicit information on exposure to the mass media campaign; and a multi-stage stratified random sampling approach was used to select households across study locations. We estimated the effect of the campaign on awareness, knowledge, and ideation between exposed and unexposed respondents based on the average treatment of the treated.
Participants who were exposed to the campaign were more likely to have a high level of awareness, this was 14pp higher than among the unexposed; and it was statistically significant. Similarly, exposure to the NTD campaign resulted in a high level of knowledge by 13%, this was also significant. For ideation, there was a moderate increase, and this was significant.
In conclusion, this study reinforced the effectiveness of using influential football stars to deliver public health campaigns.