This study investigates the impact of mass media in the campaign to create public awareness of family planning. It also reviews the attitude, and knowledge of parents. It adopted the agenda setting of the theory of mass communication. The research used was done with survey design as 120 copies of questionnaire were administered. The ineffectiveness of the media is clearly seen from this study. It goes to show that the inhabitants of Warn metropolis have not really been affected by the media in adoption of family planning measures. The researcher concludes that the research findings were in conformity with the research objectives and assumptions earlier made. Media houses always advertise birth control measure as this will help to create awareness of the issue on family planning and how the methods work so that misinformation would not occur. Medical professionals should be sent to the rural areas to educate them more on the need for family planning, if possible in their own dialect for proximity. But for wider coverage, the communication media should be used by these professionals. Government, non-governmental agencies and philanthropists should sponsor media programmes to propagate family planning. This is because family planning affects or reduces population and if the population is reduced, it is for the benefits of all. They should also donate money, pills, condoms and free medical care to the people.
1.1 Background to the Study
Giving birth is one of the characteristics of humans. It is the most common feature of human existence because it ensures the transition from one generation to another. However, people give birth the way they like not because they want it but due to the fact that they cannot help it. Giving birth is something in which mankind and animals are equal... but rearing 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 bring up the children (Julius Neyerere cited in centre for disease control, 1983).
In developing countries like Nigeria, the emphasis on the increase on the population against the means of production is to care for the population. It is not the population of a country that matters but how the population is given a standard living. Nigeria today is among the most populous country in the world and largest in Africa with national population of 140 million and has been projected to reach 250million by the year 2015 (Population Reference Bureau, PRB 2004 National population commission 2006). According to Omeera (2010) the large increase in size of 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 likelihood of survival and of good physical and emotional health for the entire family at all stage 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 do at present (Odama 2005)
Many undeveloped countries that their population is increasing growing have adopted some policy to curb the increase in the population through family planning. According Omoera (2010) the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the quest to stem the tide of unbridled population growth came out in 2002 with a population policy paper on family planning and fertility regulation. According to the policy paper, value of family planning and child spacing on the stability and wellbeing of family shall be promoted and family services shall be incorporated in material and 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 national resources. The knowledge attitude and practices related to family planning method of government policy can be rushed by the media. It starts with the understanding of health communication. Mbaka and Soola (2015:85) “communication is ubiquitous and so pervades every aspect of life. It is an exchange of information between and among individuals, dyads, groups, originations, and societies across various media or channel. Thus exchange could and behavior changes. An understanding of the process of communication, generally and particularly, in the area of health is important for hose engaged in the field of health promotion”.
The health communications cover the use of all Nigeria languages to create awareness of such benefits that can significantly enhance the use of contraceptives, which in turn, will reduce population growth and overtime have positive effects on national development. According to Ugoji (2008), family planning programming strive to prevent unwanted pregnancies, help achieve birth spacing and help couples limit family size so as to reduce maternal/infant mortality.
Oladeji (2008) contends that communication and decision-making play a vital role in ensuring informed choices of family planning and reproductive/health behaviour. Effective communication/decision making allows people to seek what is best for their own health and to exercise their right to good quality health care (Rimal et al., 2002). The mass media functions to inform, educate, persuade and entertain of family planning programmes to the targeted audience. The mass media is a captivating means of communications which not only reach wide audience but appeal their sense of decision. Communication is the art of sharing information between two parties for the interests of development. According to Adedokun, Adeyemo and Olorunsola (2010:101) “communication is a key component for sustainable development. Mobilizing community members for community development purpose; is important but members of communities can only be mobilized when communication is effective”. When people in a community relate with one another, it must that the means of their relationship is on the basis of communication. The role communication plays in human relation guarantee the social development in that society. Rural radio programme serves as a source of cultural, political, health and other educational and enlightenment programmes for the masses, leading them towards self-actualization and national development. It is in this light that Okam (1981) submits that much of the failure that attends government mass–oriented programmes are traceable to the fact that policy makers at the national level fail to utilise this powerful and credible medium.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
According to Dabral and Malik (2004) attitudes towards fertility regulation, knowledge of birth-control methods, access to the means of fertility regulation and communication between husband and wife about desired family size are essential for effective family planning. About 10 percent of all maternal deaths globally 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 CPR, and the women Advocates Research, and Documentation centre WARDC, 2008). This is as a result of the low knowledge of the benefits inherent in family planning, the contraceptives measures available and their suitability to women. There have been misconceptions of the party that need family planning. The general belief that family planning is for women rather than parents is high.
The media message seem not to be enough to create need awareness against some of the traditional method the family adopted due to their religion and culture belief and understanding concerning family planning programme. Therefore, this study seeks to investigate the impact of mass media campaign on the knowledge, attitudes and practice of family planning.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The study has the following objectives;
- To determine the level of awareness of the family planning campiagn.
- To ascertain the impact of media campaign on the level of awareness and knowledge of family planning methods.
- To determine the attitudes of the people towards modern Family Planning and old family planning method.
- To determine the impact of the campaign on the level of adoption of family and beliefs.
- To identify the problem encountered by the women in relation to the Family Planning campaign.
1.4 Research Questions
1. What is the level of awareness of the family planning campiagn?
2. What is the impact of the media campaign on the level of awareness and knowledge of family planning methods?
3. What are the attitudes of the people towards modern family planning and old family planning methods?
4. What is the impact of the campaign on the acceptance (adoption) of Family Planning methods?
5. What are the problems encountered by the women in relation to Family planning campaign?
1.5 Significance of the study
The study will be significant to the families in Nigeria especially in Warri. Despite the fact that Family planning has been known to fathers and mothers, there is a knowledge gap in family planning. The rate of children bearing and non spacing practice by women is impaction on the population growth. This is giving the government a great concern because the increase in population will bring up low standard of living. It is believed that the two major problem of implementing modern family planning methods religious and traditional beliefs. This of course has hindered the family planning initiative.
Therefore, this study will beneficiary to the government in a way to carry out massive family planning campaign through the mass media in relation to traditional leaders and religious heads involvement in driving the campaign to their subjects.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study covers the impact of the media campaign on the knowledge, attitudes and practice of family planning on women of children bearing age in Warri. The population and sample will be drawn from women of child bearing age in Warri metropolis.
1.7 Definition of Terms
1. Attitude: this is the perception of a person towards a particular thing. The understanding ad thinking of an individual
2. Mass Media: The channel of mass communication in reaching the mass on issues related to them.
3. Knowledge: the available information at the deposit of a person which was earlier received.
4. Practice: The act of doing some thing
5. Campaign: the creating of awareness of a particular thing to change the behaviour of the targeted audience.
6. Family planning: This is the modern practice of child spacing and birth control initiative by the government to all women of child bearing age.
7. Fertility: This is the condition or the degree of been able to reproduce.