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The role of the press in communicating development messages cannot be over-emphasised. The way and manner these messages are ‘framed’ within the frame of mind of the readers is as important as the communication of such messages. This study focuses on Newspaper Framing of Health MDGs in Nigeria. It sought to determine the frequency of coverage, angle of Health MDGs framed, level of prominence given to Health MDGs as well as the challenges facing the reportage of Health MDGs stories. Content analysis, survey and textual analysis methods were used as the manifest content of communication of four randomly selected national newspapers (from January 2012 to December 2012). The results were analysed with interview responses from Journalists who cover these events. The findings reveal that Health MDGs stories recorded more frequency of coverage but low prominence in terms of placement. Ownership influence and profit motive of newspaper institutions were among the challenges facing the reportage of Health MDGs in Nigeria. The researcher recommends, among other things, that public interest should be a determining factor for prominence in newspaper reportage of any issue. Also, Journalists should endeavour to frame news contents towards promoting positive attitudes in the people towards government institutions in the country.


Title page
Table of Contents
List of Tables

1.1       Background to the Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Objectives of the Study
1.4       Research Questions
1.5       Significance of the Study
1.6       Scope of the Study
1.7       Definition of Terms

2.0       Focus of Review
2.1       An Overview of Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria
2.2       The Nigerian Experience of the Millennium Development Goals
2.3       Communication and Health: A Panacea for Development
2.4       Strategic Communication for Millennium Development Goals
2.5       Theoretical Framework

3.1       Research Design
3.2       Population of Study
3.3       Sample Size
3.4       Sampling Technique
3.5       Measuring Instrument
3.6       Units of Analysis
3.7       Content Categories
38.       Validity / Reliability
3.9       Inter-coder Reliability
3.10 Method of Data Analysis
3.11 Limitation of Methodology

4.1       Data Presentation and Analysis
4.2       Textual Analysis of Quotes and Pull-Outs from Newspapers
4.3       Discussion on Findings
4.4       Summary of Findings

5.1       Summary
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendations



1.1 Background of the Study

Nigeria is a development-conscious nation. The country is also community - conscious. Development is a participatory process of social change, which is intended to bring about both social and material improvement in a society. Most Nigerians tend to identify with their community and as such, most of their discussions are centered on community development. The desire for many Nigerians to attract development to their community remains paramount to indigenes. This can be clearly seen among Nigerians, most of who tend to identify themselves based on villages/tribes.

Development involves greater number of people gaining control over their immediate environment, empowering people to be self-reliant and creating the right environment for people to improve their living conditions. The slow pace at which most nations in the world are developing has become a worrisome trend and this can be linked to various trends such as poor medical facilities, poverty etc. Kayode & Adeniran (2012, p.1) gave credence to this claim as they stated that people experience extreme poverty with a substantial segment of the population living in deplorable conditions and lacking basic amenities. According to Soola, (2002):

A holistic view of development must conceive of development as people centered, human capital-based, designed and packaged to promote the wellbeing of the beneficiaries of development. It must recognise the need for people participation and self-reliance within the complex increasingly interdependent world of globalisation. Development must not only be quantitative and qualitative in a mutually beneficial and reinforcing manner but must also appreciate the endogenous and exogenous dimensions of development (p.15).

In summary, Soola’s definition pointed out that development is like democracy - it must be of the people, by the people and for the people.
To a large extent, health, poverty, economy, education, science and technology, manpower etc, affect the rate at which a nation develops. However, the bid to reduce poverty level in developing nations led to the declaration of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the year 2000 by 189 world leaders and members of the United Nations (Annanmore-Yao, 2004, p. 21). Under the MDGs, countries were mandated to cut by half the incidence of poverty come 2015, among other goals, though, MDGs was actually designed to complement other efforts to improve the quality of the countries’ poverty rate and health and also aimed at building the nations capacity by 2015 (UNAIDS/WHO, 2005).

In September 2000, 189 world leaders made a commitment to achieve the MDGs by 2015 (United Nations General Assembly, 2000). Fatusi and Jimoh, (2006, p.323) noted that there are national and regional efforts to achieve the MDGs through an extensive body of normative and technical work and the building system to track progress and measure achievement as well as to coordinate technical collaboration.

The meeting of the 189 world leaders ended with a resolution to ensure that the rate of poverty is reduced. In addition, the issue of health was addressed during the meeting of these world leaders. Other issues discussed include gender inequality, poor education, and lack of access to drinkable water and the issue of environmental degradation (WHO, 2003).

It is worthy of note that, three of the eight goals are directly related to health: to reduce maternal-mortality by three-quarter; child mortality by two-thirds; and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Worthy of note is that health is an essential component of three other targets: to reduce the proportion of people who suffer from hunger; improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation; and ensure affordable, safe access to essential drugs.

Between December 2 and 3, 2004, a High-Level Forum (HLF) on the Health MDGs was held in Abuja, the forum (HLF) was hosted by the government of Nigeria and organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank. The health problems confronting developing nations were the key issue discussed in the forum.
World leaders in health and development, ministers of Health and Finance, aid donors, senior representatives of the global development community and charitable foundations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, were in attendance (Busari, 2004 p.88).

The members of HLF on Health MDGs mapped out actions in several key areas of international health and development. These include increased funding from national governments and donors for the attainment of the health goals, better coordination between donors to manage aid, urgent action to address a massive shortage of health workers, particularly in Southern Africa, and greater attention to fragile states - countries affected by crisis.

Eight years after HLF was held in Abuja on Health MDGs, statistics showed that there is a significant progress in the achievement of the set goals on Health MDGs (Fatusi

&   Jimoh, 2006, p.323). Dr. Lee Jong Wook, Director-General of WHO, said progress is possible with commitment and that technology and proven health interventions are often available and affordable. Dr. Lee pointed those countries with little money, such as Peru, Mozambique and Vietnam, where systematic efforts to improve health care is working. According to Lee, “We believe that, there is much we can do now to move from promises to better lives for millions of poor people” (Annamore-Yao, 2004, p.8).
With regard to health as a social institution, WHO (2001) defines a healthy system as “All the activities whose primary purpose is to promote, restore, or maintain health.” These activities include the facility-based system, interventions at the household and community levels, as well as broader public health interventions such as food fortification or anti-smoking campaigns. It also includes all categories of providers such as public and private, formal and informal, for profit and non-profit, allopathic and indigenous, etc. On the other hand, it also includes mechanisms, such as insurance, by which the system is financed as well as the various regulatory authorities and professional bodies who are meant to be the ‘stewards’ of the system. But the health system is not simply a mechanical structure to delivery technical interventions the way a post office delivers a letter. Rather, health systems are core social institutions..... 

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