ABSTRACT: The research examined the Influence of birth spacing Campaigns on the Practices among Rural Women with a case study of Ugbawka Community, Enugu State. In carrying out this research, the researchers adopted a survey method coupled with questionnaires administered to the selected respondents in Ugbawka community area of the Enugu state. Findings have shown that mass media played a crucial role in creating awareness and knowledge on the concept of birth-spacing or child-spacing through its various programmes on family planning, contraceptive usage, and many more. The background to the study, objectives of the study, research questions, scope of the study, the significance of the study, limitations to the study, and some terminologies of the basic words were reviewed in the introductory chapter, while scholarly writing papers, journals, and books in the area of child-spacing, birth-spacing, family planning, benefits of birth-spacing, challenges of birth-spacing were reviewed carefully. Also, survey research methodology was adopted and 100 copies of questionnaires were printed and distributed to100 respondents selected within the Ugbakwa community of Enugu state of which 90 copies of questionnaires were returned. Similarly, responses from respondents were analyzed and interpreted. It is deduced that child-spacing will reduce stress in the family, promote healthy children, promotes a healthy mother, and save the cost of living in the family. Also, the majority of the family use 2 years age gap between their children. Furthermore, the major challenge facing women in the Ugbakwa community on the effective use of child-spacing techniques is poverty, social class, religious influence, high level of illiteracy, superstition, and inadequate information on the benefits of child-spacing or birth spacing, while it is also established that the attitude of families in Ugbawka community towards child-spacing is partially positive. It was recommended that waiting at least 2–3 years between pregnancies to reduce infant and child mortality, and also to benefit maternal health.
Keywords: BIRTH SPACING
1.1 Background to the Study
Conde-Agudelo (2005) writes that birth-spacing of child-spacing for decades, health care providers have recommended two-year birth spacing. New research shows an association between longer birth intervals and improved maternal and child health outcomes.
Many media campaigns sponsored by private or public agencies disseminate health, nutrition, child-spacing and family planning information aimed at changing people’s behaviors. Such information about issues reaches its goal only if individuals obtain the disseminated information and transform the acquired information into new behaviors.
You may have in mind the perfect age gap for your brood. However did you know that certain age gaps carry with them, emotional, financial, intellectual and even health consequences?
At present, parents do not have the option of determining whether a next-born child will be active or quiet, able-bodied or disabled. But one can at least have some control over the child’s age relative to that of his older sibling. This is called child-spacing and each of the age gap goes with it advantages and disadvantages.
It should be noted here, that child-spacing is one of the aspects of family planning and in this research, effort will be extended to the concept of family planning, and how child-spacing is related to family planning, contraceptives and child-spacing and many more will be studied.
New England Journal of Medicine (1999) reported a higher incidence of low birthweight and prematurity among babies conceived within six months of a previous birth, compared to those conceived 18 to 23 months following the last baby. It makes good sense for a woman to let her body recover and replenish lost nutrients after having a baby. For instance, following delivery, the mother may be anemic because of the iron transferred to the baby and the placenta. In addition, a mother always loses blood during delivery. Having said that, some mothers may wish to have two babies close together for a variety of reasons.
Recommendations for birth spacing made by international organizations are based on information that was available several years ago. While publications by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international organizations recommend waiting at least 2–3 years between pregnancies to reduce infant and child mortality, and also to benefit maternal health, recent studies supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have suggested that longer birth spacing, 3–5 years, might be more advantageous. Country and regional programmes have requested that WHO clarify the significance of the USAID-supported studies.
With support from USAID, WHO undertook a review of the evidence From 13 to 15 June 2005, 37 international experts, including the authors of the background papers and WHO and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) staff , participated in a WHO technical consultation held at WHO Headquarters in Geneva. The objective of the meeting was to review evidence on the relationship between different birth-spacing intervals and maternal, infant and child health outcomes and to provide advice about a recommended interval.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
High level of illiteracy, poverty, religion believe, superstitions and cultural background have been attributed to the poor and ineffective child-spacing which also translated into increase infant mortality rate in the world especially in Sub-Sahara Africa. This background has made many of them remain ignorant of what child-spacing is all about, including family planning and various contraceptives.
However, the research seeks to Influence of Child-Spacing Campaigns on the Knowledge, Attitude and Practices among Rural Women with a particular reference to Ugbawka community, Enugu State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To x-ray whether mass media enlightenment programmes have reduced infant mortality rate in Ugbawka community.
- To study the attitude of women in Ugbakwa community towards child- spacing?
1.4 Research Questions
- Have mass media enlightenment programmes reduced the infant mortality rate in Ugbawka community?
- What is the attitude of women in Ugbakwa towards child-spacing?
1.5 Significance of the Study
Media Practitioners: The study will assist the media practitioners to know their role in keeping women informed concerning maternal related issues and other health tips.
Government and Health Agencies: Government through its various agencies must partner with media and other stakeholders in order to succeed in their various campaign activities on child-spacing, infant mortality, family planning.
Individual woman: Individual woman 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 child-spacing and family planning.
Future Researchers: 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
Although, the primary aim and objective of the project are to examine the “Influence of Child-Spacing Campaigns on the Knowledge, Attitude and Practices among Rural Women”(A case study of Ugbawka Community, Enugu).
The topic itself has limited the scope of this study through the use of Ugbakwa community in Nkanu East local Government Area of Enugu State as a case study.
However, this cannot be effectively talked about without considering the demographic factor of the women in Ugbakwa community that will respond to the questionnaires.
Experience, education background, age, sex e. t. c must be considered before the distribution of research instruments.
1.7 Operational Definition of the Terms
Influence: It means the impact or contribution of mass media on the child-spacing campaign.
Child-spacing: This means the gap between the first child and subsequent ones.
Campaigns: These are form of media enlightenment programme designed to create awareness about child-spacing
Knowledge: This is the amount of useful information derived by rural women from the media campaign messages.
Attitude: This is the feeling, perception, and behaviour of Ugbakwa women towards child-spacing.
Practices: It means how Ugbakwa women put media messages about child spacing into use.
Ugbawka community: This is a community in Nkanu East local Government Area of Enugu state.
Rural Women: These are set of women living in a rural area or semi-urban
“BIRTH SPACING CAMPAIGNS ON THE PRACTICES AMONG RURAL WOMEN“
WHAT TO EXPECT: (Chapter 1-5, Abstract, Table of Contents, Questionnaire and References)