Communication Strategies Used By Primary Health Care Officials In The Effort To Eradicate Polio (A Case Study Of Bauchi Metropolis)

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Communication Strategies Used By Primary Health Care Officials In The Effort To Eradicate Polio (A Case Study Of Bauchi Metropolis)


Abstract


The study on communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the effort to eradicate polio is with aim to identify the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis, to examine the effectiveness of the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis, to assess the challenges associated with the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis. The study made use of primary data which are gotten from the distribution of the research questionnaires; the sample size for the study is 100. The study made use of the Chi-square test for the validation of the research hypothesis. The study therefore concluded that Communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis are effective. see (p-value 0.000<0.05). The study also made useful recommendation to assist the federal government in decision making.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Eradication of polio has been described as one of the greatest primary health care achievements of the twentieth century and is widely seen as a worthwhile and cost-effective public health measure (CDC, 1999). More than 3 million child deaths of polio origin worldwide are said to be prevented each year through polio vaccination (WHO, 2014; Bosch-Capblanch, Banerjee and Burton, 2012). Despite these huge benefits, polio eradication programmes face numerous challenges including low and stagnant communication/coverage levels, under-utilization of polio vaccine services, inadequate sustainable financing, and misleading information on polio vaccination and its effects(Obrego´n, Ketan, Morry, Warren, Jeffrey and Galway, 2009; Mohammed, Datta, Jamjoon, Magoba-Nyanzi, Hall and Mohammed, 2009).

Nigeria has one of the highest rates of under-5 mortality in the world and vaccine-preventable diseases account for approximately 22% of child deaths in the country. Though polio vaccination rates have increased in Nigeria in the last decade, only 52% of eligible children in Southern Nigeria were fully vaccinated in 2013, and in the North, even fewer children (10 – 27%) were fully vaccinated. These low rates have been attributed partly to vaccine hesitancy, a behaviour influenced by a number of factors, including a lack of trust in the vaccine or the provider, people not perceiving a need for or not valuing the vaccine, poor access, lack of knowledge, rumours, religious beliefs, illiteracy, and other social and political factors (NDHS, 2013).

For polio to be specific, primary health care officials in Nigeria has been very successful in the fight against the scourge of polio through immunization has seen and confirmed by World Health Organization that declared Nigeria Polio free nation in 2016. The researcher is however of the opinion that this success might be tied to the communication strategies used by these primary health care officials.

Effective communication strategies can address some of these issues by making more people aware of the benefits of polio immunization; correcting false beliefs, rumours, or concerns that prevent people from getting immunized against polio; and informing people where and when to get immunized, thereby potentially increasing polio vaccination rates (Waisbord and Shimp, 2010).

In the context of this study, communication strategy is defined as a purposeful, structured, repeatable, and adaptable plantain form and influence community decisions to personal and public health participation, disease prevention and promotion, policy making, service improvement, and research (Hill, 2011). Communication strategies are believed to have contributed to the successes recorded in the polio eradication initiative in Nigeria (UNICEF, 2012). The country’s National Social Mobilisation Working Group, headed by UNICEF, is responsible for developing and coordinating communication strategies for all childhood vaccinations.

At state and local levels, social mobilisation committees coordinate these activities which tend to focus on the following three objectives: advocacy, social mobilization and behavioural change communication (NPHCDA, 2008).Currently, a wide range of communication strategies are being used in Nigeria. Most of the strategies used are developed at the national level and then implemented locally (Gavi, 2014)) which may result in inadequate community involvement in their planning and implementation (FMOH, NPHCDA, 2014).

To improve communication, it is important to identify what strategies are being used, where, and for which purposes (Kaufman, Synnot, Hill, Willis, Horey and Lin, 2013); which communication strategies are effective; and how people want to be communicated with (Ames, Glenton, Lewin and Parents, 2015). To better understand some of these issues, a global taxonomy of communication strategies have been developed. This taxonomy aims to map the communication strategies that are used in a way that identifies the key purposes of each strategy, thereby helping to ensure that these strategies address the most relevant determinants of polio vaccine hesitancy (Willis, Hill, Kaufman, Lewin, Kis-Rigo and De Castro, 2013).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Effective communication strategy is a critical component in ensuring the eradication of a number of childhood diseases including polio. Although numerous communication strategies have been proposed and implemented in various parts of Nigeria, the range of communication strategies used has not yet been mapped systematically. Moreover, evidence-based studies revealed that planned communication strategies such as intensive interpersonal communication and social mobilization, media campaigns, and political and national advocacy combined have contributed to reducing polio incidences in Nigeria. However from the foregoing, this study will examine the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Nigeria. The study will also explore how to integrate evidence-based communication strategies that are adapted for local conditions into polio vaccination programmes in Nigeria.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of this study:

  1. To identify the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis.
  2. To examine the effectiveness of the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis.
  3. To assess the challenges associated with the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis?
  2. What are the effectiveness of the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis?
  3. What are the challenges associated with the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis?

1.5 Hypothesis

HO: Communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis are not effective


1.6 Significance of the Study

The following are the significance of this study:

The outcomes of this study will form a useful guide for stakeholders and policy makers in health sector in evaluating the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the effort to eradicate any childhood diseases.

This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.


1.7 Scope / Limitations of the Study

This study is limited to Bauchi metropolis Nigeria. This study will also cover the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in the community.


1.8 Limitation of Study

Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was on the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the effort to eradicate polio using Bauchi Metropolis as a case study.The study is was specifically carried out to identify the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis, examine the effectiveness of the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis, and assess the challenges associated with the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 100 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were workers in the 4 selected primary healthcare in Bauchi Metropolis.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. The communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis includes; media campaigns, community and social mobilization, interpersonal communication, and political and national advocacy combined.
  2. The communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis is effective.
  3. Among the challenges associated with the communication strategies used by primary health care officials in the efforts to eradicate polio in Bauchi metropolis include; residents poor access to radios/television, poor satellite networks in the area, poor communication by the health-workers, Poor support from the government, and negative attitude of the residents.

5.3 Recommendation

With respect to the findings and the aim of this study, the researchers therefore recommend that;

  1. The federal and state government should provide adequate support healthcare providers, this will help to ensure the most consistent barrier to delivering communication and the disbursement of communication materials, especially to areas where they are most needed is contained effectively.
  2. Key decision makers should look into how to address the barriers so as to facilitate the implementation at scale of evidence-informed strategies for communicating with parents and caregivers regarding childhood immunization.
  3. Facilitators for implementation of vaccination communication interventions, such as the engagement of traditional and religious institutions and the use of organised communication committees, should be strengthened. If sufficiently planned, funded, and integrated with service delivery, communication activities could meet their desired objectives.

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