Determinants of Women's Health in Nigeria: The Role of Media Exposure and Autonomy
Nigeria's underdeveloped healthcare infrastructure has hindered the advancement of human development and addressing pressing health concerns. This study uses a multifaceted approach to examine the impact of media, women's decision-making power on women's status and access to healthcare. This study aimed to investigate how do place-based socio-cultural and economic factors operate differently communities to negatively influence the utilization of reproductive healthcare, thus resulting in high infant mortality rates in Nigeria. Data collection for this study comes from the children's, women's and household data sets from the 2008 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. Four types of statistical methodology were used in the study (1) backwards step-wise logistic regressions; (2) multivariate logistic regression; (3) cox proportional hazard model and (4) descriptive statistics. Four key findings from the research were: (1) exposure to media is shown to greatly influence the utilization of maternal healthcare services during pregnancy; (2) women over the age of 25 with high levels of educational attainment have greater levels of autonomy in household decisions; (3) timing of the first antenatal care visit is an important indicator for child survival and (4) inequities in geography create barriers that prevent women from accessing healthcare. In order for Nigeria to advance and improve health, equity policies must first address the high fertility rates. Two policy recommendations from the researcher suggest increasing access to education for women and using media as a tool to increases women's knowledge about the benefits of using maternal healthcare services are imperative to accomplish this goal.