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INFLUENCE OF FAMILY PLANNING RADIO PROGRAMMES ON YOUNG COUPLES

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Radio Dramas and Dialogue Increase Family Planning in Nigeria | The Challenge Initiative

Abstract

Due to the radio’s adaptability in disseminating health information, it is understandable that this study looks at the impact of family planning radio programs on young couples in Ijebujesa to determine whether or not these programs have an actual impact on their re-procreation arrangement. The survey research method was adopted in this research coupled with 200 copies of questionnaires that were administered to the selected couples in Ijebujesa, the capital of Osun state, Southwest Nigeria in which 192 copies were returned for analysis. The findings show that mass media, particularly radio and television, played critical roles in creating, informing, educating, and sensitizing couples about child spacing, family planning, maternal mortality, and infant mortality, among other topics, through special programs designed and dedicated to achieving such goals. It was clear that (Ifeto-Somo bibi) child-spacing or family planning decreases family stress, promotes healthy children, promotes healthy moms, and promotes a low family cost of living. Similarly, a higher proportion of couples use a two-year age gap between their children. It is suggested that women wait at least 2-3 years between pregnancies in order to prevent infant and child mortality and improve mother health.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0    Introduction 

1.1    Background to the Study

Family planning, also known as birth-spacing or child-spacing, is a decision that many families need to be fully aware of. It is one method to control high birth rates and reduce overpopulation in society. Among other benefits, family planning helps prevent undesired births. Nonetheless, there are several perspectives available to consider while examining the issue of population expansion. The rapid population expansion can be attributed to high fertility rates, which have detrimental effects on the health of expectant mothers and newborns. Maternal health is heavily burdened by frequent pregnancies and births as well as short gestation intervals.

High fertility rates are dangerous to women’s health since they are linked to several delivery, each of which carries a varying degree of risk, and insufficient time for women to rebuild their strength between pregnancies. Furthermore, a short birth interval is linked to a higher risk of preterm deliveries, low birth weights, and infant death, all of which have an adverse effect on infant health (Bongaarts, 1987; Norton, 2005; Rutstein, 2005).

Family planning is the process of determining when to start a family and implementing such plans with the use of birth control methods. Treatment for infertility, STD care and prevention, and pre-conception counseling are additional strategies that are commonly used (Olaitan, 2009). However, using birth control is often equated with family planning. Most adopting couples prefer to manage when they become pregnant and how many children they have, a practice known as spacing out your children’s births (Olaitan, 2009). It also covers parenting using techniques that demand a large amount of resources, such as time, money, social capital, and the environment. In order to manage population increase and guarantee that every family has access to limited resources, family planning methods are intended to control the number and spacing of children within a family. Family planning services were first made available by private organizations, which frequently sparked intense criticism.

Some studies have highlighted the importance of the role of men in reproductive health and their influence on the decision-making and behaviour related to family planning and reproduction (Dudgeon & Inhorn, 2004; Greene, 2000).  As mentioned, many family planning programs have focused mainly on women. 

Even though men are increasingly being “involved” in reproductive health programmes, the view of men still seem to be that they are peripheral and problematic (Greene, 2000). Short and Kiros (2000) studied fertility preferences and demands for contraception in Ethiopia (Short & Kiros, 2002). The authors reported a gender difference between husbands and wives in fertility desires; husbands were more pronatalist than their wives(Greene, 2000; Short & Kiros, 2002).   

Lasee and Becker (1997) studied husband-wife communication related to family planning and the use of contraceptives in Kenya. The authors reported that “the wife’s perception of her husband’s approval of family planning”(Lasee & Becker, 1997)has a significant impact on the current contraceptive use. The result shows that men’s opinions and perceptions regarding reproduction have a strong impact on women’s perception and their subsequent behaviour. 

However, many media campaigns sponsored by private and public agencies disseminate health, nutrition, child-spacing, and family planning information aimed at changing people’s behaviours. Such information about issues reaches its goal only if individuals obtain the disseminated information and transform the acquired information into new behaviours.  

It is against this background that the research examines the influence of family planning radio programme on young couples in Ijebujesa with the view to know the extent to which the new couples have knowledge about family planning, birth control, and child-spacing among others. 

1.2    Statement of the Problem

High levels of illiteracy, poverty, religious beliefs, superstitions, and cultural background have been attributed to poor and ineffective family planning which also translated into an increase in infant mortality rate in the world especially in Sub-Sahara Africa and particularly in Nigeria, these have made many of them remain ignorant of what family planning is all about, including various contraceptives and other means of safeguarding women and children.

Similarly, most of the research on family planning dwelled on women’s perceptive without considering men. Also, the decision to actually adopt family planning cannot be achieved with women alone and it is against this background that this research seeks to investigate the influence of family planning campaigns on the knowledge, attitude and practices among young couples in Ijebujesa 

1.3    Objectives of the Study

  1. To examine the extent to which young couples in Ijebujesa are aware of family planning. 
  2. To find out the extent to which radio stations have enlightened young couples in Ijebujesa about family planning.

1.4       Research Questions

  1. To what extent are young couples in Ijebujesa aware of family planning? 
  2. To what extent have radio stations enlightened young couples in Ijebujesa about family planning?

1.5    Significance of the Study

The study will assist media practitioners in knowing their role in keeping women informed concerning maternal-related issues and other health tips.

The government through its various agencies must partner with media and other stakeholders in order to succeed in its various campaign activities on child spacing, infant mortality, and family planning. 

Individual women will benefit from this research as it will keep them aware of some of the preventive measures they can take and the challenges in each of the methods of family planning and family planning. 

Future researchers who will be writing on this aspect or related research will find this work very interesting and serve as reference material.

1.6    Scope of the Study

The research examines the influence of family planning campaigns on the knowledge, attitude, and practices among young couples in Ijebujesa. The study has been narrowed in scope to the young couples in Ijebujesa because of its proximity to the researcher and due to the inability of the researcher to cover all couples in Nigeria. 

1.7    Operational Definition of the Terms

Influence: It means the impact or contribution of mass media on family planning campaigns. 

Family planning: This means the gap that a family is ready or planning to have between the first child and subsequent ones including all the medical treatment pre-natal, anti-natal, and post-natal.      

Radio Programmes: These are various enlightenment programmes on radio especially those focusing on family planning and other maternal issues

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