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Association Between Mass Media Use and Maternal Healthcare Service Utilisation in Malawi
Authors: Yanjie Wang, Josephine Etowa, Ghose Bishwajit, Shangfeng Tang, Lu Ji, and Rui Huang
Source: Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, Volume 14; DOI:
Topic(s): Mass media
Maternal health
Service utilization
Country: Africa
Published: APR 2021
Abstract: Introduction: Using data from Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (2015– 16), in the present study, we aimed to assess the role of exposure to family planning information through various mass media on the utilization of maternal healthcare services. Methods: The sample population included 13,217 women aged 15– 49 years with a history of at least one childbirth. Outcome measures included essential maternal healthcare services such as early and adequate use of antenatal care, skilled delivery service. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to find the association between maternal healthcare services and exposure to family planning messages by controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. Results: Women who reported receiving family planning message through internet [odds ratio=1.48, 95% CI=1.15, 1.91], radio [odds ratio=1.15, 95% CI=1.05, 1.26], TV [odds ratio=1.53, 95% CI=1.32, 1.76] and mobile phone [odds ratio=1.23, 95% CI=1.02, 1.48] had higher odds of having timely ANC care. For using adequate number of ANC, the associations were significant for TV [odds ratio=1.41, 1.23, 1.62] and mobile phone [odds ratio=1.20, 95% CI=1.01, 1.43] only. For the use of facility delivery, a strong association was observed for poster [odds ratio=1.43, 95% CI=1.12, 1.82] and TV [odds ratio=2.99, 95% CI=1.78, 5.03]. The odds of using all three services varied noticeably between urban and rural areas, eg, receiving family planning messages through internet increased the odds of antenatal care and facility delivery services in the urban areas only, whereas that from poster was associated only for facility delivery and only in the rural areas. Conclusion: The findings indicate a positive association on media communication regarding family planning on the uptake of maternal healthcare services.