Information Needs of Pregnant Women in Nigeria

A recent study in the  African Journal of Library, Archives & Information Science investigated the use of ICTs by 1001 mothers in Nigeria to access maternal and child health information from health workers. 

While the largest percentage of the mothers (45%) utilized ICTs for appointment reminders and 39% searched for information on mental health/emotional changes during pregnancy, 34% of respondents accessed family planning information. This beat out such timely subjects as medication in pregnancy, breast feeding and nutrition during pregnancy. 

The study, which piggybacked on existing eHealth projects throughout Nigeria, then tried to assess what actions the mothers took after using the ICTs for information gathering.  Researchers found 83% of mothers visited their registered clinic for health care. 

Bottom line: it seems that these patients are hunting for information on their own. 

A mother in Gombe State is reported as saying: 

I still use the television and radio a lot because I get more information and pictures. The information the matron gives during the clinic is not sufficient. When I call the nurse at the centre, we only talk for a short time because of airtime and sometimes nobody picks the call.

A mother in Imo state:

I get all the information I look for on the internet. I use the internet every day and I enjoy keeping up with tips concerning pregnancy and child care. I use this source for information that suits my immediate condition such as, why I see droplets of blood, how I can remain healthy, and how I should care for my unborn child. Sometimes, I try to find out how to determine the sex of my baby.

Here’s the citation for that study: Obasola, Oluwaseun I., and Iyabo M. Mabawonku. "Women's Use of Information and Communication Technology in Accessing Maternal and Child Health Information in Nigeria." African Journal of Library, Archives & Information Science 27.1 (2017).