Online Program

Diversifying the media mix to support social and behavior change communication for improved maternal and child nutrition in Tanzania

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 1:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Tuzie Edwin, MPH, Centre for Counselling, Nutrition and Health Care, Dar es Salam, Tanzania
Lydia Clemmons, PHD, MPH, The Manoff Group, Washington, DC
Herbert Gowell, Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Onesmo Mella, MPH, MA, 22 Ocean Road, Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Elizabeth Lyimo, Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre, Dar es Salam, Tanzania
Vumilia Lyatuu, Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre, Dar es Salam, Tanzania
Rehema Mzimbiri, Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Maternal anaemia and childhood stunting are major nutritional problems in Tanzania despite various efforts by the government and its partners. Fifty-three percent of pregnant women are anaemic while 42% of children under five are stunted (TDHS 2010). The majority of nutrition communication materials in Tanzania are in print format. Our objective was to diversify the types of media available to improve the impact of nutrition communication among low-literacy audiences. Nutrition, agriculture and SBCC experts worked with a creative agency to develop print, audio, audio-visual and digital materials. The materials were tailored for CHWs, agriculture extension workers, and families of children in their first 1000 days of life. Materials were designed for use during peer support group meetings, farmer field school trainings, one-on-one sessions, and farm or household visits. All materials promote behaviours, more equal gender norms, and social support contributing to reduced maternal anaemia and childhood stunting, and improved diet diversity. The materials target approximately 25,000 members of men's and women's peer support groups, 700 CHWs, and 3000 extension workers and farmers. Results are anticipated to include increased timely uptake of ANC services, increased demand for iron folic acid, improved IYCF practices, and increased number of households adopting recommended agriculture-nutrition actions to increase women's and children's access to diverse, quality foods. An impact evaluation in July 2013 will confirm results.A strategic combination of media facilitating interpersonal communication improves the quality and the impact of nutrition communication. Diversifying the media mix is especially important in low literacy communities.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate new communication approaches to improve maternal and child nutrition in Tanzania

Keyword(s): Nutrition, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: NA

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 30 years of experience in designing and implementing strategic communication tools and interventions supporting nutrition and public health programs in Africa. In Tanzania, lead the strategic and technical design, and the creative development process, for the multi-media social and behavior change communication nutrition materials in Tanzania. I have a PhD in medical anthropology and a Master's Degree in International Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.