AN APPRAISAL OF MASS MEDIA EFFORTS IN ERADICATING MATERNAL DEATH
1.0 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Of all the Millennium Development Goals, the least progress has been made on goal Number Five (MDG 5): Reducing maternal mortality by three-quarters by the year 2015. (UNICEF 2009).
Every day, about 1,500 women across the globe die because of complications during pregnancy or childbirth, and 98 percent of these deaths, half a million annually, occur in developing countries. Another 10 to 20 million women develop physical or mental disabilities every year as a result of complicated pregnancies and deliveries. (WHO Report: 2008).
Sub-Saharan Africa leads this death toll, accounting for 50 percent of all maternal deaths worldwide, and South Asia accounts for another 35 percent (UN Millennium Declaration). In addition to the tragedy of these preventable deaths, high maternal mortality comes with a high cost to the rest of society. Costs are both direct, including the cost of health care (either to families or to the health system), and indirect, in the form of income and productivity lost for both the mother and the family (child health, growth, and education all suffer when mothers die) (Gill et al. 2007).
The recent progress report on the subject, Countdown to 2015: Tracking Progress in Maternal, Newborn & Child Survival, define as “high” any Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 300 or more maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Currently, 60 countries have MMR levels this high (UNICEF 2008).
The regions (excluding high-income countries) that had the highest aggregate MMR in 2005 are Sub-Saharan Africa (900 deaths per 100,000 live births) and South Asia (500). These stand in extreme contrast to the average rate among high-income countries, which was just 9 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in that same year. Worldwide, the average maternal mortality ratio has declined at a rate of less than one percent per year between 1990 and 2005, according to the 2007 WHO/UNICEF/UNFPA/World Bank report on maternal mortality (WHO 2007).
Of all health indicators, maternal mortality reveals the greatest gap between rich and poor women, both between and within countries. Health experts agree that the interventions needed to avert much of the burden of maternal death. However, it has become increasingly clear that the success of these interventions depends on the capacity of the health system and the role play by mass media in each country to deliver quality care as well as creating awareness and especially in girls’ education, family planning, good roads, and available transport for emergencies.
There is no gain saying in the fact that mass media especially radio and television have a lot of responsibilities in the effort to reduce maternal mortality in our society. Apart from the responsibility of the mass media to entertain, it is also the priority of the mass media to educate, enlighten, sensitizing of varieties of issues which health is not an exceptional.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
High level of illiteracy, poverty and cultural background have been attributed to increase in the number of maternal mortality in the world especially in Sub-sahara Africa. This background has made many of them remain ignorant of what maternal mortality is all about including family planning concept.
Apart from that many are residing in remote part of the society especially in the village where there is poor infrastructural facilities like access to good health care, good road electricity, good water and access to radio and television.
However, what mass media have been able to do and what they can do to reduce this curable risk of life in our society will be addressed in this research work.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
To examine whether mass media see women education as its responsibility.
- To know how often mass media reach women in Ilesha West local government on maternal health Programme.
- To study if mass media serve as platform for women to discuss health matters.
- To know some of the challenges facing mass media in reducing maternal mortality?
- To know the extent of which mass media is able to reduce maternal mortality in Ilesha West Local Government?
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- To what extent do the mass media educate women on child birth?
- What are the constraints facing mass media in disseminating health education to the rural dwellers?
- Has mass media being able to reduce maternal mortality in Ilesha West Local Government?
- To what extent have mass media been able to educate women in Ilesha West local government on the usefulness on contraceptives?
- Have mass media enlightenment programme reduce unwanted pregnancy among women in Ilesha West local government?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significant of this study aims at revealing to the media practitioners and broadcast students, the role of mass media in reducing maternal death.
Media Practitioners: The study will assist the media practitioners to know its role in keeping women informed concerning maternal related issues.
Government and Health Agencies: Must partner with media in order to success in their various campaign activities to take their message to the target women.
Future Researcher: Researchers who will be writing on this aspect or related one will fine this word very interesting and serve as a reference materials.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Although, the primary aim and objective of the project is to examine the role of mass media in eradicating maternal death. The topic itself has limited the scope of this study through the use of Ilesha West Local Government as a case study.
However, this can not be effectively talked without considering the demographic factor of the people in Ilesha West Local Government that respond to the questionnaires of this study.
Experience, education background, age, sex e. t. c must be considered before the distribution of research instruments.
1.7 LIMITATION TO THE STUDY
Wide research of this nature cannot be carried out without some constrains, this constrains pose a lot of limitations to this work.
- Duration for the research work is relatively short.
- Stress emanated from other academic activities is also another constrain.
- Little materials are also available because the work is relatively new.
- Financial constrain poses another challenges.
However, because of the aforementioned constrains, the scope of this research shall be narrowed down to Nigeria, in which discussion and analyses will revolves.
1.8 DEFINITION OF THE TERMS
Mass Media: These are device of mass dissemination of information to a wider audience such as: radio, television and newspapers.
Role: This simply means the functions or the impact.
Eradicating : It means solving, cubing, reduce or minimizing.
Maternal Mortality/Death: Death of women during birth or pregnancy.