Keywords: MATERNAL MORTALITY
1.1 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, defines 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, television and newspaper have a lot of responsibilities in the effort to reduce maternal mortality in our society. Apart from the responsibility 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.
During the outbreak of Ebola virus in Nigeria, effective communication was used to contain it within few months and if such communication strategies are adopted in the case of maternal mortality and other women and children related issues because it appears that women especially in the rural area are not educated, poor and suffer malnutrition before, during and after pregnancy which affect their strength and health.
Other issue that is attributed to the incensement in maternal death include but not limited to under age pregnancy, poor family planning, poor child spacing, poor attitude or poor access to antenatal care, access to maternity/hospital at the time of delivery among others.
To this end, the research’s core objective is to assess the level of reduction and examine the influence and contribution of print media in reducing maternal mortality rate in Ibadan local government, especially now that the deadline date is here (2015).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
High level of illiteracy, poverty, cultural background, religion influence, under-age pregnancy, earlier marriage, family planning, poor attitude and assess to antenatal care, access to maternity/hospital at the time of delivery have been attributed to the increasement in the number of maternal mortality in the world especially in sub-sahara Africa which Nigeria is one.
Other problem is that many women 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 and good water. Access to effective health information via radio, newspaper and television are relatively unavailable especially newspaper.
Thus, the research thrust on the influence and contribution of print media in reducing maternal mortality rate by quarter in 2015 within Ibadan local government, especially now that the deadline date is here (2015).
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To examine whether print media educate women on maternal mortality and other health related issues.
- To study how often print media reach women in Ibadan North local government on maternal health programme.
1.4 Research Questions
- Do print media educate women on maternal mortality and other health related issues?
- How often print media reach women in Ibadan North local government on maternal health programme?
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 mortality and related issues.
Government and Health Agencies: Enable them to see reasons to partner with media in order to succeed in their various campaign activities in taking their message to the target women.
Future Researcher: Researchers who will be written on this aspect or related one will find this work very interesting and serve as a reference materials.
Academic: It forms bulk of material available in the department of mass media and health development which can be improved upon.
1.6 Scope of the Study
Although, the primary objective of this research is to examine the influence of print media in eradicating maternal mortality. The topic itself has limited the scope of this study through the use of Ibadan North Local Government as a case study.
However, this cannot be effectively talked without considering the demographic factor of the people in Ibadan north 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 Operational Definition of the Terms
Print Media: These are means of mass dissemination of information to a wider audience in print format such as: newspaper, magazine
Influence: This simply means the functions or the impact.
Eradicating: It means solving, cubing, reducing or minimizing.
Maternal Mortality/Death: Death of women during birth or pregnancy.