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Perception And Utilization Of Media Messages On Family Planning Services Among Women Of Child Bearing Age In Imo State




This study investigated the perception and utilization of mass media messages and family planning services among women of child bearing age in Imo State. In carrying out this research, the study had four objectives from which four research questions were posed. Descriptive survey research design was adopted. The instrument for the study is rating scale. The population of this study comprised all 2,778,462 (NDHS, 2018) child bearing women of ages 18-45 residing in Imo State. The study employed the Taro Yamane formula to obtain a broad response of four hundred (400) respondents from population understudied. In order to get women of reproductive age, the study employed multistage sampling on government hospitals within the 27 local governments in Imo State. The instrument employed in the study was the questionnaire which consists of scale with VHE- Very High Extent, HE-High Extent, LE-Low Extent and VLE-Very Low Extent. Arithmetic Mean and simple percentages were used in answering and analyzing the research questions. The findings indicated that Participants had high level of knowledge of at least one type of contraceptive method used for family planning; The “influence of family planning media messages were adequate to a very high level in terms of: credibility, relevance, reliability, accuracy authoritativeness and timeliness. It was also revealed that availability of family planning information (β = .138, P(.000) <.05) had positive contribution on attitude of childbearing women towards family planning. Based on the above findings, the researcher recommends media, policy makers and healthcare providers to create awareness and campaign programs on the importance and benefits of utilizing family planning methods in every household in the state.



1.1     Background of the Study

The highest fertility rate in the world is found in sub-Saharan Africa, and a decline in birth rates has decelerated even more over the past decade with severe implications for the realization of health and development goals in Africa (Cleland and Ndugba, 2011). Nigeria has projected to decrease the total fertility rate (TFR) from 4.6 in 2012 to 1.8 in 2050.3 Notwithstanding, the population is projected to reach 133.5 million in 2032 and 171.8 million in 2050. Therefore, to benefit from a demographic dividend, the country must first achieve a demographic transition through accelerating access to reproductive health and family planning services (Population Reference Bureau, 2013).

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Even though Nigeria achieved most of the health-related millennium development goals (MDGs) including a 67% reduction in under-five mortality, and a 71% decline in maternal mortality ratio, achieving the health-related sustainable development Goal (SDGs) requires the country to implement strategies, which specifically target more marginal populations and geographic areas (Assefa et al., 2017). In response to this, the Nigeria Ministry of Health (MOH) has made the momentous step up in improving access to and quality of family planning (FP) throughout the country by enhancing mass media communication through the development of a cost implementation plan (CIP) for family planning as indispensable for aligning with global priorities as expressed in the SDG 5 which aims to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including family planning (Docklova, Lau & Marshall, 2016).

Undeniably, family planning helps to reduce poverty, increase gender equity, prevent the spread of HIV, and lower infant deaths (Sing, Jacqueline & Ashford, 2016). Multicountry studies have shown that accessing family planning can reduce maternal deaths by as much as 40%, infant mortality by 10%, and childhood mortality by 21%. Despite the advantages of accessing family planning, the contraceptives utilization rate for modern contraceptive use by currently married Nigerian women is 35%. In the same vein, the unmet need for family planning for currently married women is 25% and 11% in rural and urban areas, respectively (Cleland et al., 2012).

Evidence showed that the provision of targeted, easily accessible, and accurate information about family planning through multiple channels increased the use of modern contraceptives, and impudence social norms on its utilization (Ahmed, Lui and Tsui, 2016). Studies have also shown that information through health care providers or the media can influence people positively in adopting family planning methods and encourage discussion about contraception between partners. A study conducted in Post-Soviet Central Asia illustrated that viewing family planning messages on television (TV) improves the chances of using modern contraception for a woman who saw the messages by about 8−11% (Isogunyo and Adindu, 2013). Another study conducted in Kenya showed that the proportion of women using a contraceptive method rises to 25% among those who have heard radio messages, to 40% among those exposed to both radio and print messages and 50% among those exposed to radio, print, and television messages compared to 15% among women who say they have neither seen nor heard media messages (Bongaarts, Cleland and Townsend, 2012).

Scholars have also argued that the relationship between information and family planning utilization not always a linear relationship. This underscores the call for analyzing the effect of access to family planning information on the utilization of modern contraceptives by different populations through mass media and subgroups to guide audience segmentation for tailored family planning behavior change interventions.

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1.2     Statement of the Problem

Observed evidence, which has been documented in copious studies, is chiefly promising regarding the effects of mass media campaigns in promoting family planning and individual contraceptive choices (Kincaid, 2000). There are at least dual reasons why exposure to mass media can help to promote the use of contraceptives. First, effective communication plays an important role in facilitating social interaction and development in general. In the context of developing countries, in particular, mass media plays an instrumental role in enhancing health communication by bridging the language gap in policy information dissemination to promote different health behaviours, including contraceptive behaviors (David & Bankole, 2004). As health policies are often written with technical terms at the governmental level, mass media need to decode policy content to non technical and understandable languages, which can effectively inform public perceptions about health issues.

Unfortunately, research assessing the impact of mass media family planning messages on the use of modern family planning methods in Nigeria has lagged. Therefore, the current study endeavors to bridge this dearth by examining the relationship between family planning messages through mass media and the utilization of modern contraceptive methods among child bearing women in Imo State.

1.3     Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the perception and utilization of media messages and family planning services among women in child bearing age in Imo State, Nigeria.

Specifically, the study set to;

  1. To examine their level of awareness of family planning methods through media messages
  2. To determine the attitude towards methods of family planning commonly used by child bearing women in Imo State
  3. To establish the influence of mass media on family planning methods among child bearing women in Imo State.
  4. To determine the relationship between exposures to mass media family planning messages and modern contraceptive use

 1.4     Research Questions

  1. What is the extent of the perception of family planning and methods of contraception among child bearing women in Imo State
  2. To what extent has the attitude towards artificial methods of family planning influenced child bearing women in Imo State.
  3. What is the influence of mass media on Family Planning Methods use among child bearing women in Imo State.
  4. What is the relationship between exposures to mass media family planning messages and modern contraceptive use
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1.5     Research Hypothesis

H0: “There is no significant influence of mass media on Family Planning Methods use among child bearing women in Imo State”.

H1: “There is significant influence of mass media on Family Planning Methods use among child bearing women in Imo State”.

1.6     Significance of Study

This research will benefit people, especially families in Imo State Nigeria. This study will play an important role in educating the families and life partners on family planning awareness campaign. The study will enable the couple see the danger in the excessive child bearing in the society.

This study will help access the influence of child bearing awareness campaign on women in Imo State Nigeria and also serve as a source of guide to researchers who wish to research on this topic.

The findings from this study may be useful to the Ministry of Health, Non-Governmental Organizations, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in improving the overall family planning knowledge of mothers which consequently impacts on the society and survival.

1.7     Scope of Study

The study is focused on the perception and utilization of media messages and family planning services among women in child bearing age. it will be delimited to health centers, hospitals and homes of women who are within the child bearing age.

1.8     Operational Definition of Terms

Family planning services are “the ability of individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births.

Withdrawal Method: method of contraception (coitus interruptus) is the practice of withdrawing the penis from the vagina and away from a woman’s external genitals before ejaculation to prevent pregnancy.

Condom: are a “barrier” method of contraception. They are made of very thin latex (rubber), and are designed to prevent pregnancy by stopping sperm from meeting an egg.

Mass Media: Mass media refers to a diverse array of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit information electronically via media such as films, radio, recorded music, or television.

Contraception: Also known as birth control, anticonception, and fertility control, is a method or device used to prevent pregnancy.

Child Bearing Women –  relating to the process of a woman becoming pregnant and giving birth to a baby usually between the age brackets of 18 – 45 or 50

Pages:  82

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF                

Chapters: 1-5                                                      

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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