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 Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Family planning and Maternal and Child Health (FP-MCH) are key components of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, given their central role in healthy and productive populations. Tanzania has made some progress in these areas in recent years - for example, mortality rates among infants and children under five have declined. However, Tanzania has lagged in maternal health, with the UN MDG Monitor declaring that the country’s goal of reducing the maternal mortality ratio and increasing access to reproductive health is “off track”.

The 2010 AudienceScapes survey of Tanzania included a module to measure people's access to information in general, and access to health information in particular, as well as access to health services. The data yield some helpful guidelines for public health professionals seeking to educate the Tanzanian public about FP-MCH:

  • Mass media, particularly radio, continues to play an important role in delivering FP-MCH information to vulnerable groups. Community word-of-mouth campaigns delivered by public health workers have the potential to be just as important, particularly among socioeconomically constrained populations with low levels of access to media outlets.
  • A large proportion of Tanzanians across the country said they have access to clinics and medical doctors. However, only between a quarter and a third of respondents listed medical doctors as sources of information about FP-MCH.
  • There is a clear demand for more information about FP-MCH. Over half of all respondents, including young women, said they would like more information about FP and 41 percent wanted further information on MCH.
  • Health professionals must be aware of not only what are the key information gathering tools for general target groups like young women and men, but they also need to be aware of the limited reach of some media platforms among disadvantaged sub-groups.
(Source:AudienceScapes)
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