Impediments to Media Communication of Social Change in Family Planning and Reproductive Health: Experiences from East Africa

Kagurusi Patrick T.


The media has been employed to increase uptake of Family Planning through behaviour change communication (BCC).

Understanding the barriers encountered in effectively undertaking this function would increase the strategy’s effectiveness. Sixty journalists from East Africa participated in trainings to enhance their BCC skills for Family Planning in which a qualitative study was nested to identify barriers to effective Family Planning BCC in the region’s media. The barriers were observed to be insufficient BCC skills, journalists’ conflict of interest, interests of media houses, inaccessible sources of family planning information, editorial ideologies and absence of commercially beneficial demand. Coupled with the historical ideologies of the media in the region, the observed barriers have precipitated ineffective family planning BCC in the regions media. Effective BCC for family planning in the regions media requires capacity building among practitioners and alignment of the concept to the media’s and consumers’ aspirations. (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[3]: 70-78).



Les médias ont été utilisés pour augmenter l'adoption de la planification familiale à travers la communication pour le changement de comportement (CCC). La compréhension des obstacles rencontrés dans la réalisation efficace de cette fonction augmenterait l'efficacité de la stratégie. Soixante journalistes d'Afrique orientale ont participé à des formations pour améliorer leurs compétences de la CCC pour la planification familiale dans laquelle une étude qualitative a été imbriquée pour identifier les obstacles à l'efficacité de la CCC de la planification familiale dans les médias de la région. L’on a découvert que les obstacles comprenaient les compétences insuffisantes  de la CCC, le conflit d'intérêt chez les  journalistes, les intérêts des maisons de presse, des sources inaccessibles de l'information sur la planification familiale, les idéologies de rédaction et l'absence de demande commercialement bénéfique. Ajouté à des idéologies historiques des médias de la région, les obstacles observés ont précipité la CCC inefficace  de la planification familiale dans les médias des régions. La CCC efficace pour la planification familiale dans les médias régions ont besoin du renforcement des capacités auprès des praticiens et l'alignement du concept aux aspirations des médias  et des consommateurs. (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[3]: 71-79).


Keywords: Family Planning, Journalists, Behaviour Change Communication. 

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