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Exposure to Mass Media and Maternal Healthcare Utilization in Zimbabwe

Ronald Musizvingoza
Naomi. N. Wekwete


Background: Maternal mortality remains a public health challenge in most developing countries. Adequate utilisation of maternal health care services could be an effective means of reducing maternal mortality and morbidity. Mass media has the potential to promote maternal healthcare utilisation because it has been used successfully in several health programs.
Objective: This study is aimed at exploring associations between exposure to different types of mass media and maternal healthcare utilisation among women in Zimbabwe.
Methods: The study used a -cross-sectional study design to conduct a secondary analysis of data collected in the 2015 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS). Women who had given birth in the last 5 years preceding the survey were included in this study. Women with missing information about their maternal healthcare and media exposure were excluded, leaving 4988 women in the final analytical sample. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the association between exposure to different types of mass media and maternal healthcare utilisation.
Result: Overall, our study showed that exposure to any type of mass media was positively associated with making at least four ANC visits and PNC in two days. Women who listened to the radio at least once a week had higher odds of 4+ ANC visits (AOR 1.26, 95% CI: (1.07-1.49)), and receiving PNC in 48 hours (AOR 1.26, 95% CI: (1.01-1.57) than women who did not.
Conclusion: Exposure to mass media is associated with maternal healthcare use in Zimbabwe. Mass media can potentially reach women in low-resource settings and encourage them to utilise maternal health services. The study recommends the development of mass media interventions and programs to increase awareness of maternal healthcare services. 

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eISSN: 1021-6790