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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Effective communication is only possible where the correct message is disseminated to the right
audience at the right time through the right channels. The importance of radio broadcasting is
growing from strength to strength because it is a tool of mobilizing, sensitizing, educating,
informing and entertaining the mass of its listening audience in and across the globe.
Radio broadcasting according to Adamu (2006) cited in Okpoko (2012:62) “is the most
universal form of mass communication”. In Africa, cheap transistor radio set have brought the
oral tradition over the air wave to millions of rural African villages, towns and cities thereby
breaking the barrier of illiteracy and poverty of information among Africans.
Katz (1976), adds that “the impact and the role that radio plays in the development of any
society is for societal overall development, integration and safeguard which cut across all the
facets of its socio-cultural existence”. This was corroborated by Nwuneli (1985) that “radio
accompanied with sound effects played an important role of information and mass mobilization
of the public about the effect of spinal meningitis and cholera epidemic in Nigeria”. Schramm
(1964) adds that “the most impressive demonstration of the impact of radio was in mass
mobilizing the public to participate in the real act of democratic governance”.
However, community radio in its reach to the people is a veritable tool and for this reason,
is considered for taking awareness message and health related issues to the millions of people
who live and work in different communities (Moemeka 1986). Effective communication with the
community people and their active participation in the programmes that affect them is essential
for every community.
Through proactive and pragmatic radio programmes that are carefully designed, produced
and packaged with the socio-cultural patterns of the community taken into consideration, it would
go a long way in empowering nursing mothers in the fight against infant mortality, particularly in
Radios are effective mechanisms to increase access in the developing world because they
are inexpensive, have broad coverage, and sometimes battery-powered, and no literacy is
required to operate them. At least 75 percent of the world‟s population is within “easy access” of
some form of broadcast technology, primarily radios (Mefalopulos 2008:193).
However, one of the Millennium Development Goals is the reduction of infant mortality
by two thirds between 1990 and 2015. Thus, Mojekwu & Ajijola (2011:164), observes that
“progress in infant mortality reduction remains unacceptable in Sub-Saharan Africa; with special
reference to Nigeria, the giant of Africa”. Available statistics suggest that infant mortality levels
continue to be high and exhibit wide geographic disparities. This was corroborated by Ladipo
(2009:11), who reveals that “the northern part of Nigeria has generally worse indicators and is
also the region where polio has proven most difficult to control”. Poverty and inadequate
knowledge is another factor that contributes to the disparity. Ejike (2012:26) states that “in the
north, poverty ranges about 70%, while in the south it ranges between 25% in the southeast to
about 35% in the southwest. For a little analysis: between the northeast and the northwest, there is
little disparity of about seven percentage points in terms of poverty reduction (op cit).
A maternal death has implications for the family, the community and the society in
general. However, its impact is most immediate and especially severe on young children.
According to the WHO, one million children worldwide are left motherless every year, primarily
because their mothers had no access to or could not afford quality health care. These children are
also more likely to die within two years of their mothers‟ death.
Similarly, infants are in many ways the most vulnerable group to adverse effects of
environmental health because they are sensitive not only to conditions in their immediate
environment after birth, but also to the pre and post-natal health of their mothers, and the quality
of the health support services (Nuria 2003) cited by (Mojekwu & Ajijola 2011). According to
UNICEF (1990) cited in Umoh, Okesina & Dimkpa (1996:102), “many maternal and child
health-care problems are embedded in the cultural beliefs, values, practices and norms of the
community”. Here, many parents believe that the death of their infants is caused by external
factors such as care givers, relatives, anger of gods etc. As a result of such belief, most parents
sometimes find it difficult to accept modern medical care for their infants. Also, Umoh &
Okesina (1995:238) reveals that “the act of attributing causality to internal or external factors
have no scientific basis”. For example, the “Ogbanje” as supposedly a child who dies repeatedly
and returns to the mother to be reborn, is one of such superstitious belief. This is because
people‟s perception about an Ogbanje child is that it is almost impossible to bring back again
Additionally, Odu & Dotun (2007:148) opines that “there are anti-effective properties
present in human milk which helps to fi
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