Learn how we use evidence-based behaviour change campaigns to improve and save lives in low-income countries.
Learn about how DMI brings together two different worlds: demonstrable scientific practice and creative storytelling.
Location Child survival
Our successful RCT generated strong evidence that a child survival radio campaign could change care-seeking behaviours and save thousands of children’s lives in Mozambique. We worked with the Mozambican government, state broadcaster Radio Moçambique (RM) and our funding partners to save lives and improve health by delivering Intensaúde (or “Intensive Health”), DMI’s first child survival campaign in Mozambique.
Child survival – Encouraging parents to seek treatment for children with symptoms of malaria, pneumonia or diarrhoea.
19 x 1-minute radio spots, each produced in 11 languages.
Our radio campaign broadcast from November 2018 to September 2020 on 30 radio stations in Mozambique
Mozambique has one of the highest child mortality rates in the world, with the UN estimating that over 80,000 children died before their fifth birthday in 2019. Malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea are responsible for over 59% of these deaths, with 27% attributed to malaria, 19% to pneumonia and 13% to diarrhoeal disease (UNICEF, 2014).
Modelling from our child survival RCT in Burkina Faso indicated that a national scale up of our child survival radio campaign in Mozambique could save thousands of under-5 lives by encouraging their parents to recognise the symptoms of these diseases and to seek treatment at a health facility. We weighted the focus of the campaign according to which messages would save most lives. As a result of this weighting, we produced and broadcast more malaria spots compared to other themes. When designing and delivering Intensaúde, we worked closely with the Mozambican Ministry of Health to ensure there were enough supplies and enough capacity in health facilities to absorb the increased demand for their services.
For this campaign, we ran focus group discussions with families in Gaza, Manica and Niassa provinces to understand the barriers to care-seeking for malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. These barriers include lack of awareness of symptoms, use of traditional medicine, distance to health centre, and uncertainty about how urgently they should act. Based on these insights, our team in Mozambique wrote 19 scripts – eight on malaria, seven on pneumonia and four on diarrhoea. We worked with Radio Moçambique to record each of these scripts in the 11 most widely spoken languages in Mozambique, producing a total of 209 spots.
Before broadcast, we pretested our spots in Manica, Sofala, Gaza and Zambezia provinces to ensure they resonated with our target audience, adjusting our spots where necessary. We then broadcast our child survival campaign for 24 months on 30 radio stations, including Radio Moçambique’s national antenna and 11 provincial stations as well as 18 community radio stations with high listenership, making for an estimated 102,000 individual broadcasts. We conducted post-broadcast feedback research to understand reactions to our spots and incorporated these findings into our scriptwriting.
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We conducted large-scale baseline and endline surveys in Niassa, Tete and Zambezia to gather data on exposure to our campaign as well as on knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to treatment-seeking for malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. We are also collecting and analysing health facility data on the number of consultations for malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea across all provinces in Mozambique. Results are expected to be published in 2021.
We are grateful to Unorthodox Philanthropy, Fondation Botnar, Founders Pledge, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), GiveWell and the Mulago Foundation for funding this project.
The preliminary results of Intensaúde have been positive and we have secured funding from the Light Foundation to expand and extend this campaign until 2022. Having successfully delivered our child survival RCT and taken our child survival campaigns to national scale in Burkina Faso and Mozambique, we are actively seeking to scale up our child survival programming in Tanzania and West Africa.