Maternal Health Information Disparities Amid Covid-19: Comparing Urban and Rural Expectant Mothers in Ghana

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Date
2023
Authors
Khamis, Sahar
Agboada, Delight Jessica
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Citation
Khamis, S., & Agboada, D. (2023). Maternal Health Information Disparities Amid Covid-19: Comparing Urban and Rural Expectant Mothers in Ghana. Media and Communication, 11(1), 173-183. doi: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v11i1.6092
Abstract
The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted mothers’ access to credible and reliable health information from their healthcare providers. However, the impact of the pandemic on maternal health information access among rural and urban mothers has not been studied, especially in the Global South. Guided by the channel complementarity theory, we examined the sources of maternal health information rural and urban Ghanaian mothers used during the pandemic. Specifically, we analyzed the role access to technology plays in determining the quantity and quality of maternal health information expectant mothers had during the pandemic. Through purposive and snowball sampling techniques, we recruited and conducted in-depth interviews with 15 mothers, eight from rural communities and seven from urban communities in Ghana. We thematically analyzed the data and found that rural and urban mothers used medical and non-medical sources to obtain maternal health information. While medical sources remained the most credible information source even amid the pandemic, the mothers equally appreciated the immense benefits of other sources, particularly the internet. Our findings also suggest that the motivations for using maternal health information sources complementarily were not limited to the mothers’ functional needs, level of interest, and source characteristics but also covered the mothers’ location, resources, and health information literacy levels
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