Abstract: Radio is one of the means to get information across the length and breath of the society because of its flexibility in presenting health matters, no wonder this research examines the influence of family planning radio programme on young couples in Ijebujesa to know if programmes on family planning actually tells on their re-procreation arrangement. 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 anlaysis. The result shows that mass media especially radio and television played crucial roles in creating, informing, educating and sensitizing couples on child spacing, family planning, maternal mortality, and infant mortality among others via special programmes that are designed and dedicated to achieve such goal. It was evident that (Ifeto-Somo bibi) Child-spacing or family planning reduces stress in the family, promote healthy children, promote healthy mother and safe cost of living in the family. Similarly, larger percentage of the couples use 2 years age gap between their children. It is recommended that waiting at least 2–3 years between pregnancies to reduce infant and child mortality, and also to benefit maternal health is a good practice.

family planning


1.0    Introduction 

1.1    Background to the Study

Family planning otherwise referred to birth-spacing or child spacing is one of the ways to control high birth rate and reducing over population in the society, preventing unwanted pregnancy among other benefits is a decision that many family need to be fully aware. 

However, the problem of population growth may not only be seen from an economical point of view. The high fertility rates, which account for the rapid population growth, have serious consequences for maternal and infant health. Short intervals pregnancy and many pregnancies and deliveries pose a large burden on maternal health.

Inadequate periods to recover strength between each pregnancy, as well as many deliveries, all associated with different levels of risk, are factors that makes high fertility rates a threat to women’s health. Moreover, infant health is also plagued by the short interval between births, because short birth interval is associated with increased risk of pre-term births, low birth weight and infant mortality (Bongaarts, 1987; Norton, 2005; Rutstein, 2005).

Family planning is the planning of when to have and use birth techniques to implement such plans. Other techniques commonly used include sexual education, prevention and management of sexually transmitted diseases, pre-conception counseling, management and infertility management (Olaitan, 2009). 

However, family planning is usually used as a synonym for the use of birth control. It is most adopted by couples who wish to limit the number of children they want to have and control the timing of pregnancy, also known as spacing of children (Olaitan, 2009). It also includes raising a child with methods that require significant amount of resources namely: time, social, financial and environmental. Family planning measures are designed to regulate the number and spacing of children within a family, largely to curb population growth and ensure each family has access to limited resources. The first attempt to offer family planning services began with private groups and often aroused strong opposition.

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” by 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 opinion and perception 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 are 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 at which the new couples have knowledge about family planning, birth control, child-spacing among other. 

1.2    Statement of the Problem

High level of illiteracy, poverty, religious believe, superstitions and cultural background have been attributed to the poor and ineffective family planning which also translated into increase 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 perceptive without considering men. Also, 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 at which young couples in Ijebujesa are aware of family planning. 
  2. To find out the extent at 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 has radio stations enlightened young couples in Ijebujesa about family planning?

1.5    Significance of the Study

The study will assist the media practitioners to know its role in keeping women informed concerning maternal related issues and other health tips.

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

Future researchers who will be writing on this aspect or related research will fine 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 campaign.  

Family planning: This means the gap that a family is ready or planning to have between 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 

Young Couples: These are the newly joined matured men and women that will be planning to re-procreate.


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