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Exposure of Hausa Women to Mass Media Messages: Health and Risk Perception of Cultural Practices affecting Maternal Health in Rural Communities of Bauchi State, Nigeria

Author:

Adama Adamu

Department of Mass Communication Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, NG
About Adama

Senior Lecturer, Department of Mass Communication, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria 

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Abstract

This study aims to determine the exposure of Hausa women in rural areas of Bauchi state to health messages from the Mass Media, with a view to ascertaining if these messages have a bearing on their perception of risk regarding prevalent cultural practices relating to maternal health. A review of the literature indicates that the mass media promote the communication of health messages, and have contributed to health promotion and disease prevention; thus, dissemination of health messages through public education campaigns via the mass media can seek to change the social climate, to encourage healthy behaviours, create awareness, change attitudes, as well as motivate individuals to adopt recommended behaviours, such as lowering risk perceptions. A Focus Group Discussion was used to gather data from women of child-bearing age in the study area. Findings showed that some cultural practices detrimental to maternal health are still prevalent and such practices are mostly not perceived as risky. Also, although women encounter health messages (mostly through radio and posters) that are contextually relevant in addressing problems associated with maternal health, none of these are centred specifically on harmful cultural practices. Based on the aforementioned, it is recommended that relevant authorities concerned with the welfare of women prioritise the dissemination of mass media messages/campaigns that could contribute to the improvement of women’s health, to minimize the problems affecting maternal health. Also, cultural practices that persist in these areas should be researched with a view to ascertaining their strengths, to emphasize the assimilation of the positive aspects into the packaging of mass media messages/campaigns.
How to Cite: Adamu, A., 2020. Exposure of Hausa Women to Mass Media Messages: Health and Risk Perception of Cultural Practices affecting Maternal Health in Rural Communities of Bauchi State, Nigeria. Communication Cultures in Africa, 2(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.21039/cca.30
Published on 30 Jun 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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