Role of Public Service Announcements as Behavior Change Communication Tool for Maternal Mortality Reduction in Ethiopia; A Content Analysis of TV Public Service Announcements from the Safe Motherhood Initiative, Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of th is study was to explore the ro le of public serv ice announcements as behav ior change tool in maternal mortality red uction efforts in Ethiopia . The study aimed to identify the key awareness messages in the PSAs and sought to see if they were constructed in line with hea lth communication theories and standard PSA des ign strategies. Content Analysis was used as the main methodology for this study. Interv iew with the PSA production team was also used to supplement the content analysis. Health Belief Model and Social Cognitive Theories were used to inform the ana lys is and discussion in five thematic areas (The Awareness Message in the PSAs, the Instructions and Cues to Action, Content Construction, Mechanical and Stylistic Factors ofthe PSAs and the Messenger).The findings ITom the study show that awareness messages were communicated on the dangers of home births and other barriers to safe motherhood including cultural beliefs, practices and health facility problems. Most of the designs of the PSAs prove to be in line with recommendations ITom the Social cognitive theory and hea lth belief model as well as effective PSA designing strategies. However, in-depth theoretical foundations have not been laid in some of the PSAs. There were gaps in incorporating key community beliefs that prevent women from seeking care. Reinforcement messages to adopt the behavior recommended and so urce of information for further inqu iry for pregnancy related concerns have not been clearly stated to incentivize audience to think abo ut taking actions. Creative and artistic appeals for the messages have not been dealt with adequately in the PSAs. Desk reviews of evidence may not necessarily provide full picture of problems. Therefore, contextualizing theoretical base and pretesting of the PSAs among the target audience could have provided more insight and community wisdom to identify practical appea ls to incorporate in the PSAs and motivate behavior change.



Maternal Mortality Reduction in Ethiopia