Emmanuel Hove Mhike
The Zimbabwe National Family planning Council (ZNFPC) endorsed the award-winning gospel musician Pastor Respina Patai as the Family Planning Champion for the Midlands Province during a colorful signing ceremony held at ZNFPC offices in Gweru.
In an interview with this publication, ZNFPC Midlands Provincial Manager Karen Dzuke said Family Planning is a very important aspect of reproductive health service, and planned pregnancies help fight maternal and infant mortality.
“Family planning saves lives by reducing maternal and infant mortality. Pregnancies that are too close together or poorly timed contribute to high infant mortality. It is important we get influential artists like Mai Patai aboard to spread this crucial information,” said Dzuke.
Articulating the Family Planning (FP) Champion’s duties, Dzuke highlighted that Mai Patai will be expected to represent the ZNFPC brand in a multitude of settings.
“Mai Patai will be the face of ZNFPC in the Midlands province hence he will be expected to positively influence the communities’ family planning decisions,” he said.
Speaking after the signing ceremony Mai Patai could not hide her excitement and appreciation.
“I feel excited, honored, and humbled to be recognised as a champion and tasked to push a good cause. I will sing and preach the gospel of Family Planning to people aged 25 and above as well as attend to their FP challenges. I will stand firm for ZNFPC and positively pay back the trust and honor bestowed on me,” she said.
At ZNFPC, Mai Patai will work closely with the Organisation’s brand ambassador Adiona Chidzonga and the male motivator Albert Nyathi through linkages in media publicity, community awareness, exhibitions, advocacy, and resource moblisation.
According to UNFPA, family planning contributes meaningfully to the economic well-being of societies. UNFPA indicates that for a very dollar invested in reproductive health service, $2.20 is saved in pregnancy-related costs. Furthermore, the longer the woman waits to have children, the longer she can work for a living, improving the economic health and prosperity of their communities.