Receptivity of Pregnant Women in Lagos State to Communication Campaign Messages on Adoption of Insecticide Treated Nets for Malaria Prevention

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Amobi, T.I
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Malaria disease remains a major health burden to the world; infecting 350-500 million people and killing over 1 million each year. Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) Report identifies African countries as the worst hit, accounting for about 90% of the global deaths, with Nigeria representing one quarter of the continent’s malaria burden. Pregnant women and Children under the age of five mostly in Africa are the most vulnerable group. Over the past few decades, global interest in malaria disease has increased significantly and one of such is the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Initiative, a global alliance to fight the malaria scourge. The major goal of the RBM was to reduce the malaria scourge by half, by 2010 and now 2013 and one of its four major strategies to realize this goal is the use of the Insecticide Treated Net (ITN) for malaria prevention and a target to get 80% of pregnant women and children under the age of five to sleep under the ITN daily. While results of several studies indicate that other African countries have made significant gains, recording as much as 50% ownership and 35% usage, Nigeria is reported to be lagging behind with ITN ownership in the South West put at 20% and 17% of pregnant women sleeping under the ITN daily. This study therefore investigated the receptivity of pregnant women in rural and urban Lagos State to communication messages on the adoption of ITN for malaria prevention. To this end, it examined the exposure of pregnant women to ITN messages, their major sources of ITN information, response to the messages and the extent to which social contexts influenced the responses. It reviewed the Individual Differences, Health Promotion and Education, Participatory Model, Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) theories as well as the Communication for Social Change theory, which was evaluated to determine the extent to which it explains the responses of the respondents to the ITN messages. The Triangulation approach, comprising survey, focus group discussion and in-depth interview methods was used for the study. The multistage, proportionate stratified, simple random and systematic sampling techniques were used to select one rural and four urban Local Government Areas, ten hospitals and five maternity homes and a total of 599 pregnant women for the study. Contrary to the reports about Nigeria’s slow progress, results show 93% awareness, 76% ownership, with 47% of the respondents sleeping daily under ITN. Exposure to ITN messages on television was as high as 88% and 76% of respondents chose the mass media with 65% identifying television as their major source of ITN information. Seventy seven percent of respondents said their decision to use ITNs was influenced by interpersonal networks, while no relationship was established between demographic factors and the adoption of ITN messages. Barriers to adoption included discomfort caused by heat, fear of the chemical contained in the ITNs harming respondents’ unborn babies, skills required to put up and maintain the nets, mixed messages from the various sources of information as well as ignorance of the benefits of using ITNs. Among the recommendations offered is the inclusion of the communication element at the outset of the campaign planning, the stepping up of community dialogue, particularly in elite communities and the training and retraining of programme officers involved in social change projects, on interpersonal communication skills.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos
Malaria , Diseases , Communication skills , Malaria Prevention , Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE::Microbiology, immunology, infectious diseases , Pregnant Women
Amobi, T.I (2012). Receptivity of Pregnant Women in Lagos State to Communication Campaign Messages on Adoption of Insecticide Treated Nets for Malaria Prevention. A Thesis Submitted to University of Lagos School of Postgraduate Studies Phd Thesis and Dissertation, 232pp.