Meet Susan Zorro, the wife of legendary Tanzanian musician Banana Zorro.
“There’s nothing I’m prouder of than being the mother of two children, Randy (4) and Jermeine (2). I love my kids more than anything in this world,” Susan declared during an interview celebrating Mother’s Day.
Susan and Banana believe that it is very important that they make decisions for their family and raise their children together. And no decision has been more important than their choice to adopt a modern method of family planning.
“My husband and I worked together to select and use a family planning method that is suitable for us,” explains Mrs. Zorro. “As a mother, I feel happy that my husband supported me in my decision about the use of family planning methods [especially as there are many] men who do not support their partners [on this issue].”
Vocal advocates for family planning, Susan and Banana Zorro are champions for the Jiamini! Campaign, a new family planning (FP) campaign, led by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare with the support of JHU∙CCP’s Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project and funding from USAID. Jiamini! aims to empower women to initiate use of modern FP methods and encourages male support of FP. Targeting women ages 15-49 who want to delay or space their next pregnancy but are not currently using a modern method of FP together with their partners, the campaign hopes to increase women’s confidence in their ability to start and continue using FP, reduce fears surrounding FP use and increase the proportion of women and men who talk to their partner about FP.
The Jiamani! campaign was launched on April 2 and will run for six months. Nine radio spots, five TV spots and five bimonthly editions of Femina Hip’s Si Mchezo! magazine feature Jiamini! champions. Family planning is also being widely discussed in the media following trainings across Tanzania of TV and radio producers and presenters, bloggers and print journalists. All campaign materials refer listeners and viewers to FHI360’s Mobile for Reproductive Health (m4RH) text message platform for more information about family planning methods and service delivery points.
Increasing adoption of modern family planning methods is especially important in a country like Tanzania where 17% of all deaths to women ages 15-49 occur during pregnancy, childbirth or within two months of the birth of a child or termination of a pregnancy. In addition, one of every 20 Tanzanian children dies before their first birthday. The 2010 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey found that 44% of married women want to space their children by at least two years and 26% do not want any more children, but only 24% of all women use modern methods of FP. One of the best ways to prevent these maternal and infant deaths and meet the needs of Tanzanian women to prevent unplanned pregnancies is by making family planning an acceptable option.
Susan Zorro asserts that there are many advantages of using family planning. It enables women to rest and enjoy life with a new baby, and it gives fathers a chance to build a relationship with their new child. FP also helps busy mothers juggle the demands of family and work. She explains, “Using family planning helps you to decide the number of children you want and the time you want to wait until you get another child. This has helped me.”
“Mother’s Day is a very important day to mothers worldwide,” says Susan. “Mothers face difficulties during pregnancy, delivery and after delivery and [Mother’s Day] gives them encouragement and relief.”
“Surely all of us can agree that no woman should lose her life giving birth to the next generation,” declares Susan with conviction. “Let us all commit to universal access to family planning and health care so that every day can be Mother’s Day.”
Learn more about the Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project (TCCP) and the Jiamini! Campaign.