Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review

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The effect of mass media on women's reproductive health behaviour in Ethiopia

Dula Etana, Eshetu Gurmu


There is inadequate utilization of reproductive health services in Ethiopia due to partly low awareness and attitudinal factors, which can be addressed through mass media. Based on analysis of the 2011 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey data, this study investigates the roles of mass media in positively affecting women’s reproductive health behaviour. Cox, ordinary least square and logistic regression models were used to analyse the survey data. In addition, qualitative data that were collected from media and health personnel were analysed thematically. Results show that exposure to mass media has significant positive effect only on few reproductive health indicators but not on others. The insignificant role of mass media is attributable to constraints associated with reproductive health communication design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. The potential role of mass media in addressing women’s reproductive health problems can be utilized through evidence-based preparation of communication messages tailored to a targeted audience as well as by building the capacities of mass media agencies.

Key words: mass media, women, reproductive health, communication, Ethiopia

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