A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF NEWSPAPER COVERAGE OF MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH ISSUES IN NIGERIA: A STUDY OF VANGUARD, THE GUARDIAN, THE SUN AND THE NATION NEWSPAPERS

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ABSTRACT

The mass media play a critical role in raising and creating awareness on issues that affect the society. One of such issues to which the media must bring to the attention of all-government and individuals in the society, is Maternal and Child Health. The study evaluates the reportage of “Maternal and Child Health Issues” in Nigerian newspapers from August 2014 to July 2015. The emphasis of this study is to assess the role of the Nigerian press in enlightening and creating awareness of the Nigerian public onMaternal and Child Health issues. Content analysis was the study designed used for the objective, systematic, and quantitative description of the manifest content of the print media in this study. A total of 121 reports were gotten from the four newspapers, “The Daily Sun, The Vanguard, The Guardian and The Nation Newspapers” which were chosen for the study. Data in this study were presented in tables and percentages were used for analysis. The units of analysis for the study were editorials, features, opinions, news, pictures, illustrations, advertorials and interviews. Most reports on Maternal and Child Health issues in the selected newspapers within the study period had a favourable coverage but were not properly projected in forms of editorials and interviews to drive home the importance of the subject matter. The study concludes that reports on Maternal and Child Health issues were not given adequate coverage in the four papers studied. It therefore suggests that Maternal and Child Health reportage rates be increased in Nigerian newspapers to create more awareness to the public and influence government policies and actions towards Maternal and Child Health.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List Figures
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background to the study
1.2       Statement of the problem
1.3       Objectives of study
1.4       Research questions
1.5       Significance of study
1.6       Scope of study
1.7       Definition of terms
References

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.0       Focus of the Review
2.1       Maternal and Child Health
2.2       Infant and Maternal Mortality Trend in Nigeria
2.3       Causes and Risk Factors of Maternal Mortality
2.4       Causes of Child Mortality
2.5       Relevance of Newspapers in Health Communication
2.6       Theoretical Framework
2.6.1    Agenda Setting Theory
2.6.2    Framing Theory
2.6.3    Social Responsibility Theory
2.7       Summary of Literature Reviewed
References

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
3.1       Research Design
3.2       Population of the Study
3.3       Sample Size
3.4       Sampling Techniques
3.5       Unit of Analysis
3.6       Content Categories
3.7       Measuring Instrument
3.8       Validity and Inter-coder Reliability
3.9       Method of Data Analysis and Presentation
References

CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
4.1       Data Presentation and Analysis
4.2       Discussion of Findings
References

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1       Summary
5.2       Conclusion and Recommendations
Bibliography
Appendices

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study
One of the major health challengesof the world is improving the deplorable state of maternal and child health. Maternal health is the health of a woman during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period (WHO). It encompasses the health care dimensions of family planning, preconception, prenatal, and postnatal care in order to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. Child health on the other hand, is the care and treatment of children. It is the state of physical, mental, intellectual, social and emotional well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Maternal, infant, and child health are intertwined as they address a wide range of conditions, health behaviours, and health systems indicators that affect the health, wellness, and quality of life of women, children and families.This shows the close relationship between the well-being of the mother and the child, and justifies the need to integrate maternal, newborn and child health interventions. The health of mothers and children are threatened in developing countries as a result of pregnancy- related complications, which in most cases, have grave consequences.


Statistics available indicate that approximately three million newborn deaths, seven million under-five deaths, and 300,000 maternal deaths, occur globally every year. The United Nations PopulationFund (UNFPA,2013) estimated that 289,000 women died of pregnancy or childbirth related causes in 2013. These causes range from severe bleeding to obstructed labour, all of which have effective interventions. It is worrisome that this health burden is unevenly distributed, with most deaths occurring in the poorest regions of the world; 87 percent of maternal deaths and 37percent of neonatal deaths, for example, occur in sub-Saharan Africa (UNICEF, 2012). A woman’s chance of dying or becoming disabled during pregnancy andchildbirth is closely connected to her social and economic status, the norms and values of her culture, and the geographic remoteness of her home. This is a reflection of the maternal and child mortality disparities between wealthy and poor countries (UNFPA). This trend demonstrates the greatest disparity between the poor and the rich and has been referred to as the “largest discrepancy of all public- health statistics “(Mahler, 1987). A woman’s lifetime risk of dying as a result of pregnancy or childbirth is 1 in 39 in Sub-Saharan Africa, as compared to 1 in 4,700 in industrialized countries (UNFPA). During the 62nd World Health Assembly held in Geneva, in May 2009, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon acknowledged that maternal mortality is the slowest moving target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’S) and that it is an outrage in this century. In his words,

“There is no single issue that ties together the security, prosperity and progress of our world than women’s health…. Everywhere, especially in the poorest countries, women’s health affect the nation’s health….women, after all, care for the children, they often grow crops, and they hold families together and that “no woman should have to give her life to give life”, as is the scenario in many developing countries.”This statement indicates that maternal and child health is a yardstick for measuring a functioning health system as a nation’s development is tied and anchored on a strong health system.

Nigeria is a developing country where the poor health delivery system leads to high maternal and child mortality. As with many developing countries in Africa, Nigeria suffers high maternal and child mortality ratesdue to a variety of factors. The five biggest challenges for maternal, newborn and child health in sub-Saharan Africa are: “pregnancy and childbirth complications, newborn illness, childhood infections, malnutrition, and HIV/AIDS, and poor health services and health care facilities”(Kinney MV, Kerber KJ, Black RE, Cohen B, Nkrumah F, Coovadia H, 2010). According to the UNICEF Executive Director, Ann Veneman, “midway to 2015 deadline for MDGs, Nigeria continues to record unacceptably high maternal, newborn and child mortality”. Nigeria ranks as one of the 13 countries in the world with the highest maternal and child mortality rate and still has not been listed among the 10 countries seen to have made speedy progress toward achieving millenniumdevelopment goals. As the most populous country in the region and the eight most populous country in the world, Nigeria accounts for a quarter of all maternal, newborn, and child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa (UNICEF, 2009). This has necessitated the greater attention given to Maternal and Child health.

Each year, more than 50,000 Nigerian women die from pregnancy- related complications(National Primary Health Care Development Agency(NPHCDA), 2012).According to the WHO/United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), in 1995, Nigeria had the third highest number of maternal deaths in the world (approximately 45000 deaths). By the year 2000, for every 100,000 live births, about 800 women died in the process of child birth. Out of the 27 million Nigerian women of reproductive age, about two million did not survive either pregnancy or childbirth. In 2008, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) was estimated at 545 per 100,000 live births, increasing to over 800 per 100,000 births in rural areas (National Population Commission (NPC) [Nigeria] & ICF Macro, 2009).According to UN report, the figure stood at between 1000 and 1500 deaths per 100,000 live births. The State of the World Children Report 2009 stated that one out of nine global maternal deaths occurred in Nigeria.
Presently, Nigeria is stillthe second country with the highest maternal mortality rate in the world behind India with about 144 girls and women dying every day from complication of pregnancy and child birth. One in every 18 women die giving birth compared to one in 4800 in the US (Pitterson, 2010; Daily Independent, 2010). According to the survey conducted in.....

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