Effect Of Mass Media Campaign On The Essence Of Exclusive Breastfeeding Among Nursing Mothers In Offa

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Effect Of Mass Media Campaign On The Essence Of Exclusive Breastfeeding Among Nursing Mothers In Offa


Media campaigns are often used to achieve audience mobilization and participation in the process of development. Often times, however, it fails to achieve the purpose for which it was designed owning to many factors. It is pertinent to ensure that such development communications are properly planned and designed so as to meet the target group and achieve the set objectives. This study examined the effect of mass media campaign on the essence of exclusive breastfeeding among nursing mothers in Offa City, Kwara State while analyzing the perceptions of women regarding the campaigns and the various media used in the exercise, it identified the various constraints in the utilization of the media to reach the envisioned audience. Anchored on the innovation diffusion theory, this survey research employed questionnaire as the major instrument of data collection. The data collected was presented in simple tables and percentages. The findings of this research findings include; interpersonal communication is the most effective mode of communication in communicating the exclusive breastfeeding campaigns, the campaigns do run in adequate volumes to effect behavioral change among these women, majority of the women reserve their predisposition towards exclusive breast-feeding in spite the campaigns and that they have challenges using the media through which they receive information on exclusive breast-feeding. Recommendations made at the end of this research work will help to enhance the planning and designing of the media campaigns in the state and Nigeria as a whole.

Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of Study
  • 1.8 Limitations of the Study
  • 1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisation Of The Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Mass Media Campaign and Exclusive Breastfeeding
  • 2.3 Communication for Social Change and Health Development
  • 2.4 Factors Influencing Exclusive Breastfeeding Among Nursing Mothers
  • 2.5 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.6 Empirical Review

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Target Population
  • 3.3 Sampling
  • 3.4 Instruments for Data Collection
  • 3.5 Validity of Instrument
  • 3.6 Reliability of Instrument
  • 3.7 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.8 Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Effective communication enhances sustainable development. Many researches carried out support that communication and development are so closely related that there cannot be development without communication. In a developing country like Nigeria, strategies, plans and policies on developmental projects can only be effective and the desired results produced, if the project is properly communicated.

This indicates that it is important to properly articulate the development projects through planning and formulating strategies on how to actually implement the objectives of the development projects to achieve results.

On the other hand and equally important is the communication regarding the development project. It must be properly communicated in order for people to see the need, the strategies and the desired result in view. This is what is known as development communication.

Development communication as defined by (Nwabueze, 2008:18) “is a conscious effort by a sender to package messages aimed at persuading, encouraging and convincing the receiver to adopt and participate in actualizing the development plan”. Development communication is used to bring about behavioural change towards the desired development in a particular society. These communication processes are often done through mass media campaigns and advocacy advertising.

Advocacy advertising champions preventive action against conditions affecting the public welfare (Ukonu, 2004:83). In development process, advocacy is concerned with producing information and knowledge for decision makers within the environment where the development is required to facilitate their ability to make informed decisions regarding the project or innovation.

It is not enough to just air these campaigns, it must be properly planned to meet the aim for its production. It entails properly researching the people who the development communication is targeted at, to ensure that the appropriate channel is used, the appropriate language and the message itself packaged to suit the people. This will in turn encourage their appreciating the development process and their participation in it. According to (Okunna, 2000:298), “development should be a participatory process whose success therefore ultimately depends on the involvement of the people in whatever project is being carried out”

There have been many of such campaigns for developmental processes in Nigeria, but whether these campaigns meet the desired objectives is a question that is yet to be clearly answered. As (Ekwelie, 1999: 6) opines:
We have proof that development and communication can be complimentary. We know that communication may fail to generate development, but after making all the allowances for accidents in nature and society, we are still left with a paradigm that links communication with development

One of such campaigns is the exclusive breast-feeding campaign. This campaign is no longer news to Nigerians especially women. Exclusive breast-feeding campaign is the leading intervention in the prevention of child malnutrition which is the major cause of more than half of all child deaths in developing countries. In an attempt to achieve successful breast-feeding globally by the year 2000, World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations international children Emergency fund (UNICEF) launched the baby friendly hospital initiative (BFHI) in 1991. It is a project through which exclusive breast-feeding is being supported, promoted and protected.

Exclusive breast-feeding means that no other drink or food should be given to the infant except breast milk; the infant should feed frequently and for unrestricted periods. The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) recommends that infants be breast fed for six months and thereafter until twenty-four months alongside other proper food for the child. This recommendation is because of the various research publications on the superiority of breast milk compared to other type of milk for the nourishment of infant, and the offering of better health benefits to both mother and child. All nutritional needs for children are provided by the breast milk in the right amount and duration. This crucial benefit of breast milk prompted the need for exclusive breast-feeding campaign.

In spite of all the efforts geared towards achieving the goals of exclusive breast feeding campaign, which include reducing infant malnutrition and mortality, the project still does not have 100 percent success. This is owing to a number of factors which include gap in communication, especially in the rural areas. Writing on the effective promotion of breast-feeding in the 21st century (Oruamabo, 2004:15) affirms that “Women resident in the rural areas pose the greatest problems”.

Exclusive breast-feeding campaign is communicated through the various mass media in the country. These media include the radio, television, Newspapers and magazines, banners, posters, and flyers. Infant welfare clinic sessions at several hospitals and antenatal clinics are also avenues where information about exclusive breast-feeding is communicated.

The campaigns often times are not holistic, in that they are urbanized which removes the rural people from the picture. (Mboho, 2005:114) noted that communication with rural people is a complex process, involving a combination of traditional and modern mass media. Unlike in the urban communities where the modern mass media are used to disseminate messages of development communication, one cannot ignore the traditional means of communication. This is owing to the lack of the basic infrastructural amenities like electricity and good road network which often hinder the spread of these modern mass media.

Media campaigns in Kwara State are often sponsored by government agencies or international organizations that plan and place these campaigns at the national levels of the media and through their network channels the campaigns are spread to reach people all over the federation. Thus they may remain as one of those programmes or advertisements to people because their contents are not localized, in that it is not done to suit the people that the campaign is targeted at.

Again the media campaigns, because very often are sponsored by, private agencies or as a means of publicizing a particular world programme, the campaigns do not come in the right volumes to sustain the process until there is the desired behaviourial change which will bring about the developmental process.

Another part to consider is the perception of the women, of the campaigns and the extent to which they are influenced by the campaigns to stimulate behaviourial change which will result to the desired development. Do they buy the idea in the campaign? Does the strategy and type of programme appeal to them and their media patterns? All of these must be considered for the campaign to meet the target and get the right results.

Again, it is necessary to use the most suitable medium for the right target audience in order to achieve the desired result. The women in the urban area in Kwara state can appreciate fully the advantages of the use of modern mass media for the campaigns; however, how effective are these media in communicating the message of the exclusive breast-feeding campaign especially in the rural areas in Kwara State? The print media i.e. the newspapers and magazines which are mainly national dailies often carry these breast-feeding campaigns. However this medium may not be effective in the communication of these campaigns to these women in Kwara state because of the need for readers to be literate and again the cost of buying copies which the women especially those in the rural areas may not readily afford.

Many scholars have repeatedly stated the power of the electronic media over all other communication media .(Aniebona 1990:116) observed that the world has recognized the fact that broadcasting is a powerful and effective tool for the spread of education for both children and adults in order to achieve certain prescribed goals.
According to Waterson (1969), the radio is a veritable channel through which group behaviour can be directed in a concerted way in order to bring about any social change. Radio stations are important channels through which these development communications can be transmitted because of its cost effectiveness and the fact that it does not necessarily require electricity to operate. Again the radio tends to identify more with the audience including the rural dwellers in terms of programme content and language of delivery, because information is also transmitted using the vernacular language.

However, the use and effectiveness of these broadcast media by the women is also not very clear. (Okenwa 2000: 42) states that “the worry of many communication scholars is that, just as research has shown evidence that broadcasting is a powerful rural development communication tool, evidence also shows that broadcasting is yet to be effectively utilized in the rural development communication”. This buttresses the point by (Oruamabo 2004:21):
It would appear therefore that information packaging on breast- feeding campaign have been very much skewed in favour of urban dwellers and I want to believe that these findings are not unique. The 1999 NDAS figures on the time of initiation of breast-feeding showed that 43% of the urban dwellers imitated Breast-feeding within one hour to 36% of rural dwellers….

Thus there exists a gap in knowledge about exclusive breast-feeding benefits and methodology between the urban and the rural women. This results in the campaigns not achieving the purpose for their design. This sets back the process of development. Although the women in the rural areas may be prone to do more exclusive breast-feeding than their urban counterparts, information on the time of initiation of breast-feeding, duration for the exclusive breast feeding and also the proper ways of breast feeding the child may not be fully known to them. Hence the need to communicate these messages to them, if holistic results are to be achieved.

Equally important are the traditional media which include all kinds of verbal and non-verbal communications designed for disseminating messages to the people living within the locality.(Ndolo, 1998:12) defines traditional communication as “a source of media indigenous, credible and acceptable channels of communication utilized by rural dwellers for various societal functions including dissemination of messages”. These traditional communication means are embedded in the culture and social life of those in the rural areas, and are such that they cannot do without.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Even though there are myriads of these campaigns on the mass media and all other channels of communication, there is yet to be significant success results accruing because of exclusive breast-feeding campaign. There are still disparities in the results obtained between the rural areas and the urban areas. Also the results obtained at the national level do not tally with those at the state level especially in Kwara state.

These disparities in the results could be because of a lot of factors. These campaigns are done through the various mass media and human media just as it is at the national level, yet the results are not the same. This can be an implication of the ineffectiveness of the media used. Again the perception of the women regarding the media and even the cost of assessing some of the media used are issues that can hinder the influence of these campaigns in order to achieve the desired results. The contents of the message and the programme type through which the campaigns are publicized can also be a hindrance to achieving the desired objectives of the campaign in the state.

It is the burden of the researcher therefore to evaluate media campaigns on exclusive breast-feeding, in order to analyze its influence on the women in Kwara State. Also, to evaluate the available results in comparison to the set objectives of the campaigns and to evaluate the disparities in the use of the campaign between the rural and urban areas in Kwara State on exclusive breastfeeding. The problem statement of this research work thus is why media campaigns on exclusive breast-feeding in Kwara State are ineffective.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to assess the effect of mass media campaign on the essence of exclusive breastfeeding among nursing mothers in Offa City, Kwara State. Specifically, the following objectives will guide the study;

  1. To determine the perception of the nursing mothers on various media used for the exclusive breast- feeding campaigns
  2. To determine the volume of these campaigns in the various media and the time frame each of these campaigns run to ensure influence and subsequent change in behaviour
  3. To ascertain the influence exclusive breast feeding campaigns have on nursing mothers in Offa City, Kwara State
  4. To identify the various challenges the nursing mothers have in their use of the media use on the exclusive breast-feeding campaign

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions were formulated to guide the study based on the research objectives;

  1. What is the perception of the nursing mothers on various media used for the exclusive breast- feeding campaigns?
  2. What is the volume of these campaigns in the various media and the time frame each of these campaigns run to ensure influence and subsequent change in behaviour?
  3. What influence does the exclusive breast feeding campaigns have on nursing mothers in Offa City, Kwara State?
  4. What are the various constraints or challenges the nursing mothers have in their use of the media use on the exclusive breast-feeding campaign?

1.5 Hypothesis

  • HO1: There is no significant influence ofmass media campaign on the essence of exclusive breastfeeding among nursing mothers in Offa City, Kwara State
  • HA1: There is a significant influence of mass media campaign on the essence of exclusive breastfeeding among nursing mothers in Offa City, Kwara State

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study would enhance the effectiveness of media campaigns in Kwara state because it will help campaign designers to use the right medium for the right target audience.

This study would be useful to media practitioners because it will provide information on how to effectively mix the various communication media available for the people i.e. the modern mass media and the traditional communication systems in the disseminations of information and development communication messages especially to those in the rural areas.

Decision makers on development programmes should be able to use contributions from this study to design campaigns that are balanced. Campaigns that take the constraints of women have in the use of various media for campaigns in the state into consideration, thus increasing the desired behaviourial change geared towards development because the campaigns will be effective.

This study could also be helpful for initiators of these campaigns to analyze and evaluate the results on the exclusive breast feeding campaigns in the state because it will analyze the perception of the women on the various media and type of programme used for the campaigns and thereby improve on subsequent development communication.

Lastly, this study will also be a source of literature for further studies in this area.

1.7 Scope of Study

The study was conducted in Offa City, Kwara State. The study focused on the effect of mass media campaign on the essence of exclusive breastfeeding among nursing mothers in Offa City, Kwara State.

1.8 Limitations of the Study

This study was limited in the scope, as it only focused on Offa City, Kwara State. This implies that the findings and conclusions drawn from this study cannot be generalized to other communities and nursing mothers in the area. Also, the researcher faced time constraints, financial constraints as well as issues related to access to relevant materials for this research.

1.9 Operational Definition of Terms


A series of planned activities and messages aimed at changing the attitude of a target audience concerning a particular issue, in this context, exclusive breast-feeding.


The various means of mass communication considered as a whole, including television, radio, magazines, and newspapers, together with the people involved in their production.


To feed a baby by holding it so that it can suck milk from the mother’s breasts.

Antenatal Care:

a follow up care given to a pregnant woman from conception to just before she puts to bed by qualified professional health care givers in order to ensure that mother and child are healthy after birth.

Exclusive Breast-Feeding:

The absolute feeding of an infant with only breast milk and no other substitute from birth to at least six months of infant life.

Nursing Mother:

Refers to a mother who is breast-feeding her baby.

1.10 Organisation of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding it is broken down as follows:

  • Chapter one kicks off with the introduction, which consists of the background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research hypothesis, scope and significance of the study.
  • Chapter two begins with the conceptual framework on which the study is based, the theoretical literatures and also the empirical literature and thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design, the population of the state used as a case study, the sample size and the sampling techniques used, the data collected, data analysis and the limitations of the method used.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis, interpretation and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The study analyzed the effect of mass media campaign on the essence of exclusive breastfeeding among nursing mothers in Offa City, Kwara State. The mass media on daily basis air many campaigns whose main objectives are to change or to influence the behaviour of members of the society towards certain developmental goals. It is believed that the media arguably are very effective in influencing the behaviour of people towards particular life styles through their messages and campaigns, and thus can be an effective tool in supporting and sustaining development.

It is important that these media messages and campaigns are packaged and delivered in such way that they would meet the targets and yield the desired goals of those who designed them especially where they concern health and quality health care. One of such campaigns is the exclusive breast-feeding benefits, which are enormous and would adequately enhance the lives of women and children. However it is feared that given so many factors, these campaigns and messages might not be effective and would not meet the purpose for which they were designed which is to influence positively the disposition of the women towards exclusive breast-feeding. Hence the need to ensure that the campaigns achieve the desired results.

Following the above, this study sought to examine the perception of women regarding the media used for the campaigns, to check the influence of the campaigns on the behaviour of the women regarding exclusive breast-feeding and the various constraints and challenges they have, using the various media where the campaigns run. The study discussed the essence of packaging these media campaigns to ensure its effectiveness by ensuring that the people who are the target are well researched, and the content, timing and the eventual packaging are all well planned and programmed to suit the target.

The study is significant because it will enhance the effectiveness of media campaigns. It will help campaign designers to use the right medium for the right target audience. The study would be useful to media practitioners because it will provide information on how to effectively mix the various communication media available for the people. These include the modern mass media and the traditional communication systems in the disseminations of information and development communication messages especially to those in the rural areas, thus increasing the desired behaviourial change geared towards development because the campaigns will be effective. Most importantly, it examined and evaluated the actual influence of these campaigns on going in the state and thus provides information on the current results regarding exclusive breast-feeding campaign.

A suitable theoretical framework was used in order to give the study a sound foundation, the innovation diffusion theory was used for this study. This theory explains how a new innovation, object or practice is strategically diffused to the target audience is the way that they pay attention, understand, internalize and adopt the new idea, practice or use the innovation. Relevant literatures were reviewed, evaluating the opinion of other scholars who have discussed the essentials of media campaigns and its relevance in developmental communication.

Survey research design was used, using the structured questionnaire instrument in collecting the relevant data. A sample size of 300 was selected from the population size using the purposively and accidental sampling techniques. The data collected were analyzed in chapter four and the findings discussed alongside the research questions.

The major findings of the study showed that the most effective channel through which the people receive information on exclusive breast-feeding is the interpersonal communication via the health centers. The ability to ask questions and easily understand the messages of the campaigns are what appeals most to the target about the channels through they access information on exclusive breast-feeding indicated thus.

It was found that the people do not depend wholly on the media in order to respond to certain information that demand actions from them but wait to hear from leaders, friends and others before responding to the information. Again it was shown from the study that the campaigns on exclusive breast-feeding in the media are not adequate and thus may not be effective in bringing about the behaviourial change that is desired.

Finally, the study indicated that majority of the women who have been exposed to exclusive breast-feeding campaigns were not affected by them as their predisposition and perception about exclusive breast feeding has not been affected.

5.2 Conclusion

The broadcast media are more effective and would have more impact on women than the print media. The interpersonal channels which is the mode of communication during the antenatal clinic session and interactions, amongst friends, and in the market place are the most effective mode of communication to reach the women, thus in the packaging these campaigns, these designers must ensure that interpersonal communication is used.

The study shows that the campaigns on exclusive breast-feeding do not run in adequate volumes and thus are not able to effect positive behaviourial change on the women doing exclusive breast-feeding for their children. The predominant opinion among the respondents is that they do not get information very often on exclusive breast-feeding. Those who live in the more rural areas do not receive information as much as those who are living in the more urban area. Thus the information that is available on exclusive breast-feeding are designed and concentrated more on the urban than the rural area.

The study also shows that the perception of the women towards the media used for the campaigns do not have strong influence over the women. The data shows that although most of the women have heard about the campaigns through the media, they still rely on the opinion leaders, friends and others before they respond to the information they get from the media either positively or negatively depending on the opinion of those whose opinions they have sought. Moreover, the information the women get on exclusive breast-feeding does not affect the majority of them towards positively changing their perception about exclusively breast-feeding their children. Even though they think it is a good practice, they still reserve their predisposition toward exclusive breast-feeding.

The study also indicates that the women have challenges using the media they prefer for exclusive breast-feeding. These challenges range from lack of electric power supply to high cost of buying the appliances and others such as the print media. These challenges affect to what extent the women will use the media and the attendant effects of developmental campaigns which ought change their behaviour and mobilize the people towards achieving the said goals.

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations were made:

  1. It is important that the people for whom the campaign will be designed will be researched into by those whose job it would be to design the campaigns. This is because a thorough research into the people will give the developers the necessary information that will help to design campaigns that will be effective. The research will also reveal the perception of the people towards the particular issues that needs a behaviourial change and thus provide a veritable basis from where the campaign can be started rather than throwing darts in the dark or emphasizing aspects of the issues which do not emphasis.
  2. The campaign designers should adopt communication approaches and media theories which will most suitably work for the particular target audience. These will be most effective if the campaign is well-planned and adequate time given from the time of the design of the campaign to the time it is placed in the media to ensure that the people are affected by the messages. This is essential, given the subtle nature of media campaigns and how they affect the target. Theories such as the innovation diffusion theory indicates that ample time must be devoted between the time the people begin to get exposed to the message and when they eventually accept and adopt the message or innovation being sold to them. One such communication approach is integrated communication model approach
  3. It is very essential that media campaigns should be reviewed from time to time as long as the need to place such campaigns in the media still exists. The need exist until the particular campaign has become a social norm. Reviewing the campaigns will enable the designers to measure the effects of the campaigns on the targets. It will expose areas where the campaign designers will need to enhance and areas to begin to remove from the campaigns because the targets do not require motivation or mobilization, information or persuasion in those aspects. Reviewing these campaigns especially on issues pertaining to development and health can be cost effective and save cost which can be channeled into purposive ventures.
  4. There should to be more campaigns on exclusive breast-feeding which would aggressively persuade and motivate women to do it. The broadcast media must be used to collaborate the counseling, teachings and publicity that the hospitals, and health centers are giving. Adopting subtle strategies such dramas, songs and group grooming session would over a period of time will the subconscious of these women and cause them to adopt these media messages rather than the “once upon a time” approach that has been the way these campaigns are placed in the media. Posters and banners must also be used to reach corners on the streets and high ways to ensure that the information about the benefits of exclusive breast feeding is readily available to the entire society.

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