The Reach and Impact of Social Marketing and Reproductive Health Communication Campaigns in Tanzania

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Author(s): Meekers D, Silva M

Year: 2003

Objectives: In Tanzania, governmental and non-governmental organizations are increasingly relying on health education and communications to provide information about reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention and to promote healthy behavior, including condom use, abstinence, and partner reductions. This paper studies the reach of the Green Star family planning program, six different radio drama series, and the Salama condom social marketing campaign in Tanzania. In addition, it assesses the impact these programs have on discussion of family planning and condom use. Data: The 1999 Tanzania Reproductive and Child Health Survey containing a sample of 4,029 women (age 15-49) and 3,542 men (age 15-59) was used for this analysis. Results: Results show that 42% of women and 53% of men were exposed to both the social marketing and other reproductive health communication campaigns. For both genders the likelihood of being exposed to campaigns was higher among educated urban dwellers with access to the media. Estimates of the impact of campaign exposure show that for both men and women exposure to the Salama campaign, the reproductive health dramas, and the Green Star program had a significant positive effect on discussion of family planning and ever-use of condoms. Exposure to any of the campaigns also had a positive effect on the likelihood of having used a condom in the last sex act for men (OR=1.1 for drama exposure, OR=1.3 for Salama exposure, and OR=1.2 for Green Star exposure); however, only the Salama campaign had a significant effect on women's use of condoms at last sex act (OR=1.2). Conclusions: The three types of programs discussed in this paper succeeded in reaching substantial portions of the population. Yet further efforts must be made to reach rural, less educated and low socio-economic status populations. To a large extent the programs reached similar audiences, thereby reinforcing the messages. Exposure to the campaigns had a positive effect on discussion of family planning and condom use. As this effect increased with level of exposure, it is important for future campaigns to increase the number of channels through which they disseminate campaign messages and to increase the frequency of such messages.

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