Influence Of Radio Broadcast Messages On Family Planning Attitude Of Couples
This study is on the research of “The Influence of Radio messages on Family Planning Attitudes towards Couples in Uyo metropolis” it strives to achieve the following objectives; To identify radio broadcast messages on family planning in Uyo. To identify couples’ awareness of radio broadcast messages on family planning in Uyo metropolis. To examine the knowledge of family planning among couples in Uyo metropolis. To verify the extent which couples have considered and practiced family planning methods in a positive or negative way following exposure to these messages. To find out other influences on family planning among couples in Uyo metropolis. Survey method was utilized and simple random sampling was the method involved in collecting data. From the result given couples are aware and have knowledge of the messages of family planning. Although, they were also influences after few observed challenges and factors affecting embracing and adopting the family planning. In all, the couples do agree that radio is the best option in addressing family planning methods and techniques to reach a large audience. Various recommendations were give, from more contents, to the support of the Ministry of Health and embarking on rural settlements in creating family planning awareness.
1.1 Background of the Study
Communication is pervasive, ubiquitous and takes place everywhere, every time and every day. Man existence can be traced to communication. Communication started between the first man and his Creator. Biblical account noted that God established communication with the first man, Adam. Since the creation of first Man, communication has come to stay as Adam communicated with his family and the animal folks. It is vital to conclude that communication is the basis of human and animal existence and interaction. Effective communication require concerted effort on the part of message encoder, the appropriate choice of words , correct contextual application and simplicity Communication is traced to a Latin word “communis” meaning to share and that it is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing or behaviour. Communication is also the transmission of experience from one person to another, from one person to a group of people or from a group of people to another group of people. Communication is pervasive. It is an index of existence and regarded as lively. Okunma (1996) sees communication as a complex process of sharing information or a message which requires certain basic components. It is essential to conclude that communication is pervasive and a fundamental way by which human beings interact through language and other symbolic means. Communication sustains, lubricates and dominates every facet of human existence. Since their inception, the media as disseminators of news are considered principal institutions that have the mandate to facilitate dialogue and provide relevant information to the citizenry, from which members of the public get a better understanding of their society (McCombs & Shaw, 1993; Browne, 2008). Humans, mainly, interact by exchanging information in a language understood by the people involved in the communication process.
Giving birth is something in which mankind and animals are equal….But rearing the young, and especially educating them for many years is something which is a unique gift and responsibility of a man. It is for this reason that it is important for human beings to put emphasis on caring for children and the ability to look after them properly, rather than thinking only about the number of children and the ability to give birth. For it often happens that man’s ability to give birth is greater than their ability to bring up the children (Julius Neyerere cited in Centre for Disease Control 1983).
The above dictum could not have been more germane than in a 21st century Africa where many families grapple with the challenges of malnutrition, infant mortality, road accidents, armed robbery, sexually transmitted diseases, maternal mortality, kidnapping, unemployment, hunger, civil strife, among others. One of the subtle but most frightening of all is the issue of maternal mortality which incidentally is one of the biggest problems facing the developing areas of the continent, including Nigeria. In fact, Lindroos and Luukkainen (2004), in the Antenatal Care and Maternal Mortality in Nigeria, were moved to ask a rhetorical question that if maternal mortality is about 800 – 1100/100 000 like it is in Nigeria, in a country where the population is over 120 million it means about 54 000 deaths every year. That is only a bit under 10% of all maternal mortality cases in the world per year.
Raphael (2008) corroborates the foregoing statistics as he asserts that Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate is the second highest in the world, after India – 1,100 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. The country is home to 2 percent of the global population, but 10 percent of all maternal deaths take place there. Only about 60% of pregnant women have access to prenatal care in Nigeria and even fewer have access to family planning. These sad and scary statistics have been blamed squarely on the Nigerian government’s inability to provide access to information on family planning and contraception, two issues very closely related to maternal death (Centre for Reproductive Rights, CRR, and the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, WARDC 2008). Clearly, the health benefits of family planning associated with child spacing and the use of specific methods can play a major role in protecting the lives of infants, children, women and the family as a whole on the continent of Africa.
However, Nigeria is the most populous country on the continent and among the ten most populated nations of the world. Its national population is about 140 million and has been projected to reach 250 million by the year 2015 (Population Reference Bureau, PRB 2004; National Population Commission 2006). The large increase in size of the population is mostly a function of past and present levels of fertility and mortality in the country. In Nigeria, child spacing or the timing of every birth, including the first and last, can improve the likelihood of survival and of good physical and emotional health for the entire family at all stages of life. All available evidence indicates that the level of reproduction has been persistently high in the last three or four decades and still remains so at present (Fraser and Weisberg 1981; Odaman 2005).
In the quest to stem the tide of unbridled population growth, the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2002 came out with a population policy paper on family planning and fertility regulation. According to the policy paper, the value of family planning and child spacing on the stability and wellbeing of family shall be promoted and family services shall be incorporated in maternal and child health care. This is to help reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality as well as reduce rapid population growth in the shortest possible time in order to ensure sustainable development which can be achieved only by reducing population growth to bring it to per with the available national resources. This will invariably lead to the attainment of good quality life and high standard of living in the country. It is perhaps because of the foregoing world leaders in 1974 accepted family planning as a human right of individuals and couples. Article 14 (F) of the World Population Plan of Action states that:
All couples and individuals have the basic right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education and means to do so; the responsibility of couples and individuals in the exercise of the right takes into account the needs of their living and future children, and their responsibility towards the community.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Though there is a growing interest with the intense efforts of the government to popularize the use of modern family planning methods by integrating it into maternal and child health in Nigeria, it seems many people still do not apply family planning methods. Lindroos and Luukkainen (2004) contend that Nigeria is a country where modern family planning usage is one of the lowest in the world. This may be due to lack of useful information to those who really need the information as a majority of the Nigerian populace live in the rural areas where there is poor access to modern means of communication including the mass media. Family planning provides the society with some socio-economic and health benefits (Odaman 2005). Awareness of such benefits can significantly enhance the use of contraceptives, which in turn, will reduce population growth and overtime have positive effects on national development. In this connection, Ugoji (2008) observes that family planning programmes strive to prevent unwanted pregnancies, help achieve birth spacing and help couples limit family size so as to reduce maternal/infant mortality.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate the influence of radio broadcast messages on family planning attitude of couples in Uyo Metropolis.
The specific objectives include the following:
- To identify radio broadcast messages on family planning in Uyo.
- To identify couples’ awareness of radio broadcast messages on family planning in Uyo metropolis.
- To examine the knowledge of family planning among couples in Uyo metropolis.
- To verify the extent which couples have considered and practiced family planning methods in a positive or negative way following exposure to these messages.
- To find out other influences on family planning among couples in Uyo metropolis.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were stated to guide this study:
- Does radio broadcast messages aid family planning in Uyo?
- Does couples’ awareness of radio broadcast messages on family planning in Uyo metropolis?
- Is there knowledge of family planning among couples in Uyo metropolis?
- To what extent does couples have considered and practiced family planning methods in a positive or negative way following exposure to these messages?
- What other influences on family planning among couples in Uyo metropolis?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
In order to achieve the above stated objectives, the following research hypotheses were formulated to guide this study:
- H0: Radio broadcast messages does not aid family planning in Uyo.
- H1: Radio broadcast messages aid family planning in Uyo.
- H0: Couples are not aware of radio broadcast messages on family planning in Uyo metropolis.
- H1: Couples are aware of radio broadcast messages on family planning in Uyo metropolis.
1.6 Significance of the Study
In this study, the researcher have set out to investigate the influence of radio broadcast messages on family planning attitude of couples in Uyo Metropolis with the aid of highlighting the importance radio broadcast messages on family planning on couples. It is expected that this work will be of interest to the married couples in Uyo Metropolis.
This study will also help to serve as literature (reference source) to students, individuals, married couples or broadcast media into what to carry out on further research on the influence of radio broadcast messages on family planning attitude of couples in Nigeria.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
There is no study undertaken by a researcher that is perfect. The imperfection of any research is always due to some factors negatively affecting a researcher in the course of carrying out research. Therefore, time constraint has shown no mercy to the research. The limited time has to be shared among many alternative uses, which includes reading, attending lectures and writing of this research, also distance and its attendant costs of travelling to obtain information which may enhance the writing of this study was a major limitation.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
This chapter presents the summary, conclusion and recommendations for further studies.
5.2 Summary of the Findings
This study was carried out to investigate the influence of radio broadcast messages on family planning attitude of couples using selected married couples in Uyo Metropolis.
To achieve this objective, the study revealed that:
- In table 2, it was discovered that the mean value of 2.2133 is greater than the standard deviation value of 1.16588. It therefore means that radio broadcast messages aid family planning in Uyo.
- In table 3, it was fund out that the mean value of 2.5600 is greater than the standard deviation value of 1.45416. It therefore means that couples’ awareness of radio broadcast messages on family planning in Uyo metropolis.
- In table 4, it was revealed that the mean value of 2.5333 is greater than the standard deviation value of 1.09462. It therefore means that there is knowledge of family planning among couples in Uyo metropolis.
- Table 5 shows that the mean value of 1.2400 is greater than the standard deviation value of 0.56569. It therefore means that couples have considered and practiced family planning methods in a positive or negative way following exposure to these messages.
- Table 6 found out that the mean value of 1.4267 is greater than the standard deviation value of 0.77413. It therefore means that there are other influences on family planning among couples in Uyo metropolis.
Based on the findings of this study and subsequent recommendations, it is concluded that broadcast media is the invention of present day or modern society and have performed marvellously for the enhancement and advancement of human coexistence and promotion of cultural heritage. Its programmes and effective reportage has help to improved promotion of family planning messages in Nigeria and across other countries of the world. In every society, broadcast media play an imperative function in shaping the society through it cardinal role of informing, educating, entertaining, mobilizing and persuading.
Family planning matters are arguably still very thorny and sensitive in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, the most populous black nation on earth. Although, the Nigerian government has since accepted family planning as a necessary ingredient of socio-economic development; an important social/health measure which contributes to the well-being of mothers, children as well as fathers, this study reveals that many people, especially in the rural settings, have not taken to the adoption of modern family planning methods such as the use of contraceptives (condoms, birth control pills, avoiding sex during the woman’s known fertile periods, injectables, intrauterine devices (IUDs), Norplant and sterilization, among others) to check family size and space child bearing as purveyed on certain radio and television programmes. This may not be unconnected with some archaic laws, cultural practices and religious doctrines that compel a majority of people, especially the rustics to keep sealed lips about issues relating to child bearing, number of children and other family matters.
Based on the findings of this study, the researcher put forward the following recommendations:
- Broadcast media/family planning programmers and other stakeholders including the government should find a way of skirting round the problem of the non-adoption of effective family planning methods and strategies among rural Nigerians. The radio and television programmes designed to achieve this objective must emphasize that family planning is by choice, not by chance. In other words, families should give birth to the number of children they can emotionally, financially, physically and psychologically take care of. More so, the increasing use of radio and television media in rural areas as a way of reducing the level of ignorance or incidence of misapplied family planning methods must be encouraged.
- The peculiarities of rural communities in Nigeria in terms of language, norms, prejudices and other predisposing factors should be considered in the design of family planning programmes on radio and television media.
- This study is obviously delimited to Uyo Metopolis. Therefore, there is the need to carry out similar surveys in other rural settings across Nigeria as a way of generating a more representative empirical statistics on the impact of the broadcast media in the provision of family planning information.
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