Exploring news sources of information on maternal health among pregnant women in Nigeria
Keywords:Information dissemination, Maternal health, News sources, Pregnant women
Maternal health care is one of the most critical areas of public health that needs attention and effective coverage by the mass media. However, in Nigeria, most women do not have access to information on maternal health from the mass media. This study therefore used a qualitative method for data collection through focus group discussion to explore news sources of information on maternal health among pregnant women. The study focuses on the phenomenological approach to discuss and understand the lived experiences of the informants and make meanings out of what they describe of the phenomenon. Fifteen pregnant women in Tudun Wada, Sabon Gari and Unguwar Sunusi communities all in Kaduna metropolis Nigeria
were purposely selected as informants in the study. The findings revealed that most pregnant women get information on maternal health from health workers, traditional birth attendants, relatives, friends and other lactating women. It is also established that despite the numerous radio and television broadcast stations in Kaduna metropolis Nigeria few carry programmes on maternal health. Mostly health programmes are on general health and not specific to maternal health. The study concludes that the absence of health programme targeting exclusively pregnant women in both English and local languages contribute to lack of awareness of health benefits of attending ante natal clinics among pregnant women. The paper, therefore, recommends the introduction of maternal health programmes in both English and local languages in all mass media organisations to create awareness of the maternal health problems and for safe deliveries of pregnant women. There should also be a weekly live-phonein programme on maternal health. The state government to also conduct training and sensitisation workshops for the journalists in order to improve their knowledge on maternal health issues and how to report well in their media organisations.