In Tanzania, pregnant women who were exposed to a national safe motherhood campaign designed to get them to visit health facilities for prenatal care and delivery were more likely to create birth plans and to attend more prenatal appointments, according to new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research.
The findings, published last month in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, suggest that a strategic, social and behavior change communication campaign broadcast via radio, television and print media can help empower women to take the steps necessary for healthy pregnancy, safe delivery and proper care for newborns. Despite improvements over the last few decades, maternal mortality in Tanzania remains among the world’s highest, with 454 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Infant mortality rates are also high.
The Wazazi Nipendeni (“Love me, parents,” in Swahili) campaign was part of the Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project, which was run by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) from 2010 until 2016. The messaging was designed to improve a range of maternal health outcomes by encouraging women to prepare birth plans, start prenatal visits as early in pregnancy as possible and give birth at a health care facility.