AN INVESTIGATION OF THE COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES USED IN PROMOTING MATERNAL HEALTH AMONG WOMEN IN KAWANGWARE, NAIROBI COUNTY

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ABSTRACT
The purpose of this research was to investigate the communication strategies used in promoting maternal health among women in Kawangware, Nairobi County. The specific objectives of the study were; to identify the communication channels being used in providing awareness on maternal healthcare in Kawangware slum, to examine the impacts of communication strategies on maternal health care in Kawangware and to identify ways of enhancing communication among women of reproductive age on maternal health. The study anchored on the Health Belief Theory and Theory of Reasoned Action. The study used mixed methods research approach. Questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data. Simple random sampling was used to pick the sample for quantitative data. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data was analysed thematically and presented thematically in narrative. Findings indicate that communication strategists have the ability to influence the public health institution to train the community health workers how well to communicate since it’s the best mode of communication across all age groups, followed by television. Findings also revealed that there are various tools of communication used. The effectiveness of such tools depends on how the recipients of the information comprehend and responds to it, whether positively or negatively. The research recommends that healthcare workers ought to have regular training and capacity building in order to equip them with relevant up to date information that they would relay to the women during clinic visits and other forums of interaction. It also recommends that healthcare workers ought to do more preemptive programmes on health communication and education, not just when there is need like during disease outbreaks. The study therefore recommends that more emphasis should be laid on strengthening the healthcare workers’ communication skills and on updating their knowledge on maternal and child healthcare since this was identified as the most effective mode of communication on maternal and child healthcare.

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