An Assessment On Mass Media As A Tool For Population Control In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

An Assessment On Mass Media As A Tool For Population Control In Nigeria


Abstract


The study investigated mass media influence onpopulation control in Kaduna State. Four research questions were asked and four objectives were formulated.The research design adopted was survey combined with focus group discussion, observation guide and In-dept Interview. A sample of six hundred and five (605) respondents among women of reproductive age between15-45, were selected from seven local government areas including Kaduna Metropolis using multistage sampling technique. Questionnaire was used to collect information from the subjects. Mean score statistics and Standard Deviation were used for the purpose of data analysis. Checklists for observation were also used as instruments to collect data. The findings revealed that inadequate population control messages caused problems of misunderstanding the benefits of population control. These problems might be due to inappropriate methods being used to communicate with people. The conclusion drawn from the findings of this study show an important knowledge gap exists with respect to population control benefits. The analysis of the data revealed that respondents were of the opinion that communication channels have significant impact on the population and face to face communication is considered as the best strategy in promoting population control in Kaduna State. The main recommendation from this study is for the State Health-Director to organize job-training, workshops and seminars at interval for health workers on population control. Communication messages should also be edited locally and not at national level as it is know. The establishment of a population control communication audit should be conducted in Kaduna State. National, regional and community radio and television stations should conduct discussions that will help women to understand their reproductive life, rationalize work and shift emphasis from funding to report population control communication activities. Religious and traditional leaders (Imams, Pastors and chiefs) should have regular communication with their followers on the need for population control as stated in their engagement protocol held with the UNFPA.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The study of population is as old as the world itself and the need to study demography or population studies can be over emphasized.

It is phenomenon, which has been critically evaluated and accessed because of its distinct effect on the human race. It is known, every good thing in life will always have shortcoming likening this, despite its numerous advantage in the country, it’s negative implication has always been considered in the disastrous.

In this case, effort is being made by different media to reduce, if not eradicate high population in the country even in the world at large through its information function and fear appeal. High degree of illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, congestion among others has been identifies to be the end product of population. Considering these factors, it is however of paramount need to check the impact and effect of mass media on the population and it’s control.

The roles of mass media used considering the social class of the audience in the society. traditionally, the mass media has 3 distinctive roles. These are the information, education and entertainment function.

The information is the basic of all and their duties is to provide truth and reliable information to that, which occur in their jurisdiction as it has been proved that people are more interested in event that happens in their immediate environment they lived in the outside world.

Constitutionally, in the chapter 2, section 22 of the 1999 Nigeria constitution, titled obligation of the press. The duty of the media is purely explained;

“the press, radio, television and other agencies of mass media shall at all times be-free to uphold the fundamental  objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people”

However, in Nigeria several attempts has being made to fight against population because of its implicating effect. Even the country has been collaboratory with various foreign bodies to reduce, if not eradicating population in the world at large. In my personal point of view, I believe this phenomenon is a gradual process it can’t just be eliminated instaneously that population but gradually. Once can critically analyze this that population is not a thing that just happen in a day or a year and the process of stopping or preventing it will also take some time.
Several programmes have been innovated to control but none of its yield positive result, instead of eliminating the people, family in the nations population otherwise the world’s population for instance, if every couple agree to adopt the family planning programme as a control to population, the number of offspring to be produce will be minimal otherwise stabilizing the nation population aid the world at large.

In addition, the claim put forward by the population controller was that the population of the world is increasing at a geometric rate while the resources are increasing at the arithmetic rate which means that, if not checked, the resources of the world will one day be excluded and the increase in population will possibly lead to low standard of living of the people. To support this point, Cornell university professor disclosed this “Total population should not be move than 2 billion rather than the present 5.6 billion of today” but in this study one will conclude that for this to be achieved different countries most especially America and some parts of Africa needs to be analyzed.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Despite the fact that it is the media that meditate for the world as a determinant, that dictate how people view things, it has been observed to treating only one side of this burning issue “population control” of which is of urgent national development for developing nations like Nigeria.

Though the mass media different program types; campaigns, announcement, have been able to change the perception of most people in the world at large about the basic need for population control.

In 1790, a Venetian Monk, Giamana Ortis, concluded that human population growth could not continue indefinitely. The debate about human numbers remained academic, however, until the 1950s, when a surge in population, occurred as a result of the comparative pace and prosperity following world war II.

Rapid population growth has several economic consequences. It requires heavier investment in education, health and transport merely to maintain these services at their previous level; yet the working population has a higher burden of dependence to support, making both individual and national saving more difficult. Although population growth s not the only problem dividing rich and poor countries, it is one important variable that has widened the gap in growth in per capital income between developed and developing nations. Advocates of population control see it as means to prevent the personal and social pressures that result from rapid population growth,
In this regard a lot of measure ought to be in place by various organs of the mass media in the agitation for population control, such patient questions include whether:

  1. Mass media informative role have any effect on population control.
  2. Mass media instruments have effect on population control
  3. Mass media communication appeal to the public on population control.
  4. Do mass media have any negative effect on population control.

1.3 Research Questions

  1. What are the mass media used by health workers to promote population control in Kaduna State?
  2. How familiar are the people with the mass media and/or population control products in Kaduna State?
  3. What are the challenges communicating with the people on population control in Kaduna State?
  4. How do people perceive population control messages from the mass media in Kaduna State?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

  1. Identify the mass media used by health workers to promote population control in Kaduna State.
  2. Identify the people‟s familiarity with mass media.
  3. Identify the challenges of communicating with people on population control.
  4. Determine peoples‟ perception on population control messages. From mass media in Kaduna State.

1.5 Significance of Study

Some works (Maman, 2004 and Souley, 2005 in Chaibou, 2007) have been done on population control services and its challenges in Kaduna State but they have been limited to adult women, married people in specific areas. However, none of theses studies has focused specifically on the entire state and none focused on both sexes. This study is meant to help assess the mass media of contraceptive and population control services need for couples (young and old) in Kaduna State and their difficulties in communicating with population control providers or services. The outcome of the study will enablepeople to identify services need themwith respect to good population control communication and services.

The study will also provide information on the level of awareness; utilization and difficulty that people may be having in accessing reproductive health services. It helps to assess the quality of mass media and information that people are having on contraceptives which often shape their attitude toward its use. The study helps to identify the need of Kaduna people regarding their sexual health. The result of the study could also assist the Ministry of Health and Population commission, Woman Promotion and Child Protection (MP/PF/PE) on how to structure policies and strategies on health programme for people.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study was to be conducted in Kaduna State of Nigeria during three months (June, July and August 2020). It covered several local government areas including Kaduna Metropolis. The target population of the survey was Women of Reproductive Age (WRAs) between 15-45 years old in Kaduna State. The region is composed of seven Districts Health Centres (DHC), one regional hospital (based in Kaduna Metropolis), 125 Integrated Health Centres (IHC) and 8 pharmacies (public and private). In addition, there are also many private clinics run by private physicians that provide population control services in the region.


1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

Assessment:

It is the process of gathering and discussing information (on population control) from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what people know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences.

Communication Strategy:

In this study, mass media are the synchronization of communication actions, images and worlds to achieves a desired effect in promoting population control in Kaduna State.

Population Control:

population control means planning when and how many children to have and how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It also means working out a plan with partner on how to deal with procreation within the context of a sexual relationship. For the purpose of this work, we define population control as “having children that are planned for and not children conceived by accident”.


Chapter Five


Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

To sum up, population controlmass media remain an important element in promoting population control in Nigeria in general and Kaduna State in particular. Health workers can play a major role in conveying mass media (messages) to people (couple) and thereby assisting people to practice population control. The analysis of the data revealed that respondents were of the opinion that communication channels have significant impact on the population. So, face to face communication is considered the bestinpromoting population control in Kaduna State. It was also observed that for any new population control user to adopt a method, this user needs good counseling. The religion (Islam) has a significant impact in the adoption of population control in Nigeria. The study shows thatan important knowledge gap exists with respect to population control benefits. Along with the identified barriers, it reflects opportunities for holistic communication interventions that will touch gender education and religion in population control. People with Islamic education in the study constituted the highest number of the respondents (99%). In this regard, there is the need to identify group-specific characteristics including experiences and perceptions. In fact, only permanent (long term) sensitization of people could help to promote population control in Kaduna State. In accordance with this conclusion, the study highlights some recommendations.


5.2 Recommendations

Having studied the mass media and factors influencing population control among women of reproductive age in Kaduna State, the following recommendations are made:

The State Health-Director should organize job training workshop and seminars at interval for health workers on population control. Communication messages should also be edited locally and not at national level as it is know.
Health workers in Kaduna State should continue to encourage people to visit population control service providers/units so as to enlighten the people on various population control choices that will meet their needs;
Religious and traditional leaders (Imams and chiefs) should have regular communication (meeting, ceremonies, mosque…) with their followers on the need for population control.The Nigeria government should provide sufficient communication materials on population control to service providers and the population;

To reach a wider audience, the use of local and or regional broadcast media (Radio and TV) in promoting population control should be maximized. Community radios and television programmes should be aired regular programmes on population control.

National radio and televisionstations should also conduct discussions that will help women to understand their reproductive life, rationalize work and shift emphasis from funding to report population control communication activities;

Hence, a health communication audit and an inventory of all existing communication materials to determine their direct related objectives should be undertaken, a logical framework process for developing new materials should be established and approaches which will take care of people‟s consideration should be adopted.


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