THE IMPACT OF MEDIA CAMPAIGNS ON VESICO VAGINAL FISTULA (VVF) PREVENTION AND CONTROL IN NORTH WEST NIGERIA

 

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Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) is an abnormal communication between the urinary bladder and the vagina that result into constant involuntary discharge of urine into the vagina. This research work evaluated the influence of media campaigns on Vesico Vaginal Fistula prevention and control in North West Nigeria. In executing this study the researcher used explanatory mixed research method. Australian National Statistical Services (NSS) online calculator was used to draw a manageable sample size of 428 from the entire population of North Western Nigeria (35, 786, 944). Three measuring instrument: questionnaire, interview and observation were used to generate both qualitative and quantitative data. Five research questions were raised and findings revealed that respondents are exposed to VVF campaigns in the region. However, the level of exposure seem to be relatively high. It was equally found out that the knowledge level of the people of North West Nigeria on VVF is high. From the study it was also found that radio and seminar /workshop forms the major sources of information to the people. The challenges associated with the use of the media in campaigns against VVF were as well discovered to include: language, frequency of the awareness campaigns and boring awareness progammes. The level of the influence of the campaigns on VVF prevention and control is moderately high. Based on the findings the study recommends that the campaigns planners should ensure they use local languages during the campaigns, skilled counselors should be used during the seminars, the awareness campaign should inform the people on the consequences of early marriage.

RELATED PROJECT  AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MENACE OF KIDNAPPING IN NIGERIA AND THE REPORT EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PRESS

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF) is a sub type of Obstetric Fistula. It is an abnormal disorder that occurs between the urinary bladder and the vagina. This can lead to constant/involuntary discharge of urine into the vagina. It is associated with women alone; and can be caused by severe birth morbidity resulting from prolonged labour (Obstetric Fistula), severe sexual violence (Traumatic Fistula) or surgical errors (Iatrogenic Fistula).This disorder in the urinary track causes deterioration in the tissues between the vagina and the bladder or rectum. This deterioration subjects women to great discomfort, pains and embarrasses women in the control of their urine or faeces. However, while some women find support/help from families and friends, many others suffer from social isolation and most of these women are the impoverished members of the society (USAID, 2003, p. 1).

In addition to this, the report of the National Foundation on Vesico- Vagina Fistulae (2003,p.19) enumerates major causes of VVF in Nigeria which includes, prolonged labour due to cephalopelvic disproportion, the pelvic of the teenage not being fully developed as at pregnancy, making the pelvis often two small for the baby. Prolonged labour of the baby’s head against the back of the pelvic bone produces ischemic necrosis of the intervening soft tissues (Andrew, 2011, p.13).

In 2008, Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) revealed that, Nigeria has about
545/100,000 maternal morbidity ratio, thereby contributing about 10% of the global burden.
Similarly, majority of delivery occurs at home, while births attended by skilled Birth Attendants
are estimated to be only 39% with very low contraceptives utilization rate (NDHS, 2008, p. 32).
In a recent report by the United Nation Population Fund Agency (2010, p. 22), the report notes
that, VVF and maternal death are immensely associated with complications related to
pregnancies, and childbirth, and this has continued to pose a threat to women. The prevalence in
Nigeria ranges from 100,000 to 1,000,000 cases, while the incident is recently estimated at
20,000 cases per annum (UNPFA, 2010, p. 23). However, it is evident that Vesico Vagina
Fistula is rampart in the Northern part of Nigeria due to several prevailing social-cultural factors
such as, early marriage /pregnancies and low status of woman coupled with poor access and
utilization of antenatal services (UNPFA, 2010, p. 23).
The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Health (FMH) in
conjunction with United Nation Population Fund Agency (UNFPA) recognized that Vesico
Vagina Fistula cannot be addressed in isolation but as part of an integrated effort to improve
sexual and reproductive health, including the aim of reducing maternal mortality and morbidity
and as such, National Strategic Frame Work for Eradication of fistula in Nigeria was developed
to ensure a holistic approach for fistula intervention, prevention, treatment and care as well as
rehabilitation and reintegration campaign to end fistula( Lawrence, 2010, p.9).
In other to address this issue, a lot of awareness campaigns (e.g. Campaign to End Fistula,
sponsored by UNPFA) are on by the government, NGOs, private individuals and organizations.
The mass media, particularly the radio tends to be the major carriers of the VVF campaign
messages in the North West Nigeria.
Despite all the campaigns going on in North Western Nigeria, the problem of VVF is still at an
alarming rate. For instance, Medicine San Frontier (Doctors without borders) is vigorously
battling VVF in all the states of the North Western Nigeria with numerous awareness campaigns,

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