Location Child survival

Imarisha Afya


In Tanzania, maternal deaths account for nearly one fifth of all deaths of women aged 15 – 49. Meanwhile, largely preventable diseases such as malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea are causing the death of 270 Tanzanian children under 5 years of age every day. We have strong evidence from our randomised control trial in Burkina Faso to show that our campaigns have impact on improving maternal and child health outcomes at scale.

Imarisha Afya, meaning ‘to promote health’ in Kiswahili, pilots a version of this campaign in Tanzania, where we have extensive experience of running successful campaigns on early child development, nutrition, and family planning. The project is running for a total of nine months in Tanzania’s Lake Zone region, which has the highest child mortality rate in the country.




Maternal health and child survival – encouraging parents to seek treatment for malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea, and promoting antenatal care and health facility deliveries


26 x 1-minute radio spots produced in Kiswahili


Our spots will be broadcast for six months from November 2021 to May 2022 across six community and commercial radio stations in six districts in northern Tanzania.

Project at a glance

radio stations

Our Approach


Scaling our life-saving work

Results from our 2012-2015 child survival RCT showed that our mass media campaigns can change behaviours to improve maternal and child health outcomes at scale in a low-income setting. Health economists have concluded that this approach is one of the most cost-effective interventions for saving children’s lives.

Imarisha Afya is a pilot expansion of our maternal and child health campaign in the Lake Zone of Tanzania. As child mortality is particularly high in this region, our campaigns can maximise life-saving impact by encouraging treatment-seeking behaviour for malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhoea. We have more than seven years’ experience of running successful radio campaigns in the Lake Zone and have have cultivated strong relationships with networks of radio stations, carefully selected to ensure our campaigns have optimal audience reach to encourage treatment-seeking behaviour change.


Contextual content creation

For this campaign, we adapted radio scripts from our highly successful child survival RCT to the Tanzanian context. These spots have been created through extensive focus group discussions with families to understand the barriers to care-seeking for malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea, as well as maternal health behaviours. The campaign themes focus on: treatment seeking for malaria, treatment seeking for pneumonia, prevention and treatment for diarrhoea, ante-natal care, and promotion of skilled deliveries. Weighting between the themes was informed by impact modelling.


6 months, 6 districts, 6 radio stations

We are broadcasting our spots on six radio stations across the Lake Zone, chosen based on their coverage and popularity in the target region. Using our unique Saturation+ methodology, each radio station broadcasts a DMI spot 10 times per day, seven days a week. We are also conducting post-broadcast feedback research to gather audience reactions.

Project impact

We will carry out a process evaluation to assess the efficacy of our project by reviewing the outputs produced in line with our Theory of Change for Child Survival. Project impact results will be published here when available.

Partners & Funders

We are grateful to the Saul Foundation, a private trust and private philanthropist for funding this project.

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