"Love me, parents!": Impact evaluation of a national social and behavioral change communication campaign on maternal health outcomes in Tanzania

Michelle R. Kaufman, Jennifer J. Harman, Marina Smelyanskaya, Jennifer Orkis, Robert Ainslie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Despite marked improvements over the last few decades, maternal mortality in Tanzania remains among the world's highest at 454 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Many factors contribute to this disparity, such as a lack of attendance at antenatal care (ANC) services and low rates of delivery at a health facility with a skilled provider. The Wazazi Nipendeni (Love me, parents) social and behavioral change communication campaign was launched in Tanzania in 2012 to improve a range of maternal health outcomes, including individual birth planning, timely ANC attendance, and giving birth in a healthcare facility. Methods: An evaluation to determine the impact of the national Wazazi Nipendeni campaign was conducted in five purposively selected regions of Tanzania using exit interviews with pregnant and post-natal women attending ANC clinics. A total of 1708 women were interviewed regarding campaign exposure, ANC attendance, and individual birth planning. Results: Over one third of interviewed women (35.1%) reported exposure to the campaign in the last month. The more sources from which women reported hearing the Wazazi Nipendeni message, the more they planned for the birth of their child (β = 0.08, p = .001). Greater numbers of types of exposure to the Wazazi Nipendeni message was associated with an increase in ANC visits (β = 0.05, p = .004). Intervention exposure did not significantly predict the timing of the first ANC visit or HIV testing in the adjusted model, however, findings showed that exposure did predict whether women delivered at a health care facility (or not) and whether they tested for HIV with a partner in the unadjusted models. Conclusions: The Wazazi Nipendeni campaign shows promise that such a behavior change communication intervention could lead to better pregnancy and childbirth outcomes for women in low resource settings. For outcomes such as HIV testing, message exposure showed some promising effects, but demographic variables such as age and socioeconomic status appear to be important as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number305
JournalBMC pregnancy and childbirth
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 15 2017


  • Antenatal care
  • Birth planning
  • Low-income setting
  • Maternal health
  • Social and behavioral change communication
  • Tanzania
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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