New campaign launched in Kigoma to promote benefits and use of family planning

WLF Tanzania

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Oct 9, 2014
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big wlf.png *In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and EngenderHealth, World Lung Foundation expands Thamini Uhai (Value Life) campaign to promote family planning*

(May 25 2015, Dar es Salaam and New York) – The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania and World Lung Foundation (WLF) today launched a multi-channel communication campaign in Kigoma – under the Thamini Uhai (Value Life) brand – to encourage more people to use family planning.

The campaign will use radio spots, radio drama, social media, posters, comics and community outreach to reach people in their homes and in the community, emphasizing the benefits of family planning to both men and women of reproductive age. Campaign messages will highlight the benefits of spacing or limiting pregnancies, such as increased education and employment opportunities for women, better health for mothers and children, more effective use of family resources, and stronger communities.

The need for family planning in Kigoma


Dr. Nguke Mwakatundu, Country Director – Tanzania, World Lung Foundation, said: "Health advocates, Tanzania's government and the country's main religious institutions all agree that family planning is good for families and the nation. A lack of family planning, including birth spacing, contributes to high levels of maternal and neonatal mortality in Tanzania. This also limits the ability of women and families to make choices that can protect their health, their economic wellbeing and their life chances.

The situation is particularly acute in Kigoma, where women tend to give birth to more children than is the average for Tanzania." The total fertility rate in 2010 for the Western Region, including Kigoma, was 7 children compared with a Tanzania national average of 5 children and a global average of 2.5 children.

According to the Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2010, 25% of married women in Tanzania and as many as 41% of married women in Kigoma have an unmet need for contraception - that is, they do not want to become pregnant (for childbirth spacing or limiting reasons) but are not using family planning methods.

A further 34% of married women in Tanzania, but only 25% of married women in Kigoma do not want to become pregnant and are using family planning methods to avoid unplanned pregnancy.

These data show that there is scope to increase the use of family planning in Kigoma. Barriers include: a lack of adequate resources to meet the requirements for contraceptive commodities, equipment and supplies; social, religious and cultural attitudes and beliefs; a lack of knowledge about the benefits of contraception; misperceptions of side effects of contraceptive methods; and unmet needs of modern contraceptives for adolescents, which contributes to high fertility, unintended pregnancies and complications at birth.

"Information can make a real difference," Mwakatundu added, noting that a rigorous review published in The Lancet in 2010 confirmed that mass media campaigns can change behavior related to a wide range of health issues, including family planning."

"We believe this strategic communication campaign will increase the number of women and men, including youth, who seek information about family planning, use health facilities for family planning services and advice, decide to use contraception, make informed choices about their fertility, and plan their family size."

"The resulting social, health and economic benefits could radically improve the life opportunities of current and future generations."

A comprehensive communication campaign

This campaign builds on the success of Thamini Uhai, the maternal health campaign which debuted in 2014 with a focus on the critical importance of facility delivery. This new campaign extends Thamini Uhai to encompass family planning, delivering an emotional narrative through hard-hitting radio spots and a radio drama series. Three radio spots will begin airing on Radio Kwizera, Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), and Clouds FM, for 15 weeks starting today (May 25).

The serial radio drama, Jitofautishe, will begin airing on TBC and Radio Kwizera this week. The radio drama in particular emphasizes the important role partners and families can play in supporting family planning for the benefit of women and families.

In addition, the campaign will include a comic book to be distributed through health facilities and youth groups, a poster to be distributed by community health workers, and social media using the hashtag #ThaminiUhai. Trained community health workers will provide community-level outreach.

The campaign will also engage with health care providers and include facility- and community-level meetings focused on quality of care and community needs. Family planning is a key strategy to promote social and economic development and to improve the health of women and children in Tanzania.

The National Road Map Strategic Plan to Accelerate Reduction of Maternal, Newborn and Child Deaths in Tanzania, 2008–2015 (Sharpened One Plan) had set a goal to increase the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) from 27%2 to 60% by 2015.

Increased use of family planning was recognized as having great potential to contribute to the Sharpened One Plan target of reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) from 578 to 193 per 100,000 live births by 2015. This new phase of the Thamini Uhai campaign aims to support these objectives.

More on Thanini Uhai:

WLF yazindua kampeni ya kuhamasisha uzazi wa mpango Kigoma
Uzinduzi kampeni mpya Kigoma
Thamini Uhai, okoa mjamzito na mtoto
WLF na serikali ya mkoa wa Kigoma wazindua Thamini Uhai

 

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