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THE INFLUENCE OF BROADCAST MEDIA CAMPAIGNSS ON VESICO VAGINA FISTULA PREVENTION AND CONTROL IN SOUTH-EAST NIGERIA
- Background of the study
Over the years, governments, individuals, organizations and other public agencies engage in media campaigns geared at improving public health conditions in the society. This effort has been channeled toward all areas of human life. The aim of these campaigns is to create sufficient awareness that would help people pilot the affairs of their lives better. In most cases, these campaigns have been channeled to help a particular gender group in the society. Campaigns like Breast Cancer, Cervical cancer, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF), to mention but a few, have always focused on the female gender in the society. This is a pointer to the fact that campaigns like the aforementioned are of importance to the female folks. In view of this, this study looks at the Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF) campaigns in south eastern part of Nigeria.
The VVF campaigns are in most cases carried out through mediated channels of communication which include radio, television, newspapers, magazines, word of mouth, etc. The reason is due to its ability to reach a vast majority of the people instantaneously. As Hurdle (2001: 72- 83) cited in Agughasi (2012:2) posits, “the mass media have gained popularity because of their ability to reach a vast majority of people within a short time”. This popularity is not contestable.
Today, Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF), no doubt, is considered a major public health problem in Nigeria, requiring effective media campaigns to reduce the prevalence of its occurrence. According to the National Foundation on Vesico-Vaginal Fistulae (2003), “the efforts at redressing the problem has so far remained limited in scope, coverage and uncoordinated, with most of the interventions initially being spearheaded by Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs), some state governments and lately, the Federal government”. These bodies, in recent times have sponsored campaigns geared toward controlling and preventing the issue of VVF among women in south east. Some of these campaigns are ‘OriaAkpaMamiri’ (Urinary illness),‘KaOha Mara’(public announcement), and “Akuku MCCI” afeminine health issues with focus on VVF. NTA channel 8 Enugu, Radio Nigeria, Abakaliki (Unity FM) 2013.
The problem of Vesico Vagina Fistula is not common to Nigeria alone but Africa at large. Lawson (1998), cited in the National Foundation on Vesico-Vaginal Fistulae (2003), noted that “VVF constitutes one of the major gynaecological problems in developing countries because of the high incidence of obstetric complications, but even in these countries, the incidence is not evenly spread, as contracted pelvis is more often found in communities where malnutrition and untreated infections stunt the growth of future mothers during their childhood and adolescence”. Further studies have it that the major cause of VVF, in most cases, is as a result of the sparse and far nature of maternity services which leads to cephalopelvic disproportion, thereby, leaving survivors of obstructed labour with bladder or rectal injuries (The National Foundation on Vesico-Vaginal Fistulae (2003).
Writing further, The National Foundation on Vesico-Vaginal Fistulae (2003) and Cook, Dickens and Syed (2004),enumerated major causes of VVF in Nigeria which include “prolonged obstructed labour due to cephalopelvic disproportion (the pelvic of teenage not being fully developed as at pregnancy, making the pelvis often too small for the baby), cultural beliefs and practices, limited decision-making power, illiteracy, low status of women, sexual inequality, malnutrition, and the lack of emergency obstetric care)”.
It is worthy of note that many studies in Nigeria have described varying contributors factors to Vesico Vaginal Fistula. Some of these studies which were conducted in various parts of the country, have it that VVF is still common despite its preventable nature (Ijaiya, el al, 2010). The issue of VVF would have been curbed in the society, today, if only the mass are duly informed through aggressive media campaigns. Hence, this study seeks to evaluate broadcast media campaigns on Vesico Vaginal Fistula on the knowledge, attitude and practices of the people in South-East Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Considering the health implication of Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF) in the country, and the many socio-economic problems it poses to the nation, government and non-governmental organizations have rolled out series of campaigns to help handle the increasing nature of the phenomenon. Some of these campaigns include; ‘OriaAkpaMamiri’ (Urinary illness) floated on FRCN, October 21st 2008 and sponsored by the state government; ‘KaOhaMara’ (public announcement) floated on FRCN coalcity FM network for the eastern region and sponsored by federal and state government. (Akuku MCCI, sponsored by state government on feminine health issues with focus on VVF for the eastern region). FRCN, coalcity FM October 21st2008: NTA channel 8 September 14th, 2010: NTA channel 8 in 14th March 2013, UNITY FM ABAKALIKI 17th March 2013).
In spite of the campaigns channeled towards the control and prevention of VVF in the south east, it’s prevalence appears to be common among the people. (Elechi .J, 2013)There is an increasing concern thatthese campaigns do not really have much influence on the targeted populace;that was why majority of women still fall victim of this health condition (National health conference, 2006).
Whether these campaigns are achieving their desired objectives is still in doubt. Hence, this study is geared towards evaluating Vesico Vaginal Fistula broadcast media campaigns on the knowledge, attitude and practices of the people in south-eastern Nigeria.
- Objectives of Study
The major thrust of this work is to evaluate broadcast media campaigns on Vesico Vaginal Fistula on the knowledge, attitude and practices of the people in South-Eastern Nigeria.
Other specific objectives of this study are to:
- Find out the awareness level of the people concerning broadcast media campaigns on Vesico Vagina Fistula in south-eastern Nigeria.
- Determine the knowledge level of the people on Vesico Vagina Fistula in South-Eastern Nigeria.
- Ascertain whether their knowledge of Vesico Vagina Fistula has any influence on the attitude of south –eastern Nigeria.
- Find out whether their knowledge of Vesico Vagina Fistula has any influence on the practices of south – eastern Nigeria.
- Research Questions
- What is the awareness level of the people concerning broadcast media campaigns on Vesico Vagina Fistula in South-Eastern Nigeria?
- What is the knowledge level of the people on Vesico Vagina Fistula in South Eastern Nigeria?
- How has the knowledge of Vesico Vagina Fistula influenced the attitude of theSouth Eastern Nigeria?
- How has the knowledge of Vesico Vagina Fistula influenced the practices of theSouth Eastern Nigeria?
- Significance of the study
This study will provide policy and programme formulators with accurate demographic information on what the media are presently doing for future design of behaviour change and community information interventions. It will also assist in providing policy and programme managers with data in designing community-based information and communications activities that reduce fistula-associated stigma, bring about behaviour changes on the part of community leaders and families of fistula sufferers and lead to reintegration of fistula clients into their communities and families.
It will also suggest new strategies to engage the broadcast media in the area of fistula prevention, treatment and after-care, and reintegration of fistula patients in communities and families throughout Nigeria over the coming years.
This study will help to bring to limelight how the mass media create Vesico Vagina Fistula campaign in the country to the benefit of communication professionals. It will equally help the media practitioner to know the extent their campaign has influenced the people.
This study will help provide a volume of literature on issues of Vesico Vagina Fistula and media campaigns. With the volume of literature provided here, this study will serve as a reference material for people researching on this area or other related issues.
- . Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is primarily centred on evaluating Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF) broadcast media campaigns on the knowledge, attitude and practices of South-Eastern Nigerians. This study is therefore limited to south eastern Nigeria.
1.7. Operational Definition of Terms
For the sake of clarity, certain terms need to be defined according to the context of usage
Media: Communication channels through which news, entertainment, education, data or
Promotional messages are disseminated.
Broadcast Media: Distribution of programmes through electromagnetic waves to a large,
scattered and heterogeneous audience simultaneously.
Campaigns: An operation or series of operations energetically pursued to accomplish a purpose
Vesico Vagina Fistula: VVF is an abnormal communication between the vagina and the bladder/urethra, which results in the continuous dripping of urine. When it occurs there is usually the wetting of the victims clothing leading to a tear or wear off of the skin around the already damaged vagina.