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
Burkina Faso has the world’s third highest malaria death rate and accounts for 4% of global malaria deaths. We aimed to ‘kick malaria into touch’ (mettons le paludisme sur la touche) and reduce the effects of Burkina Faso’s malaria season by delivering a rigorously tested, high-impact, national radio campaign.
Child survival – Encouraging parents to seek treatment for children with symptoms of malaria.
27 x 1-minute radio spots produced in 10 languages
Our radio campaign broadcast from July 2019 until October 2019 on 39 radio stations in Burkina Faso
11.3 million people
Modelling from our child survival randomised controlled trial (RCT) suggests that our radio campaign saved approximately 3,000 lives over the three years it was broadcast. 61% of these lives were saved due to parents seeking appropriate treatment for children suffering with malaria. Following these convincing results, we used unrestricted funding to deliver a high-impact, national-scale radio campaign during the malaria season in 2019 in order to maximise the number of lives we could save.
For this campaign, we selected 27 malaria radio spots that were produced for our 2012-2015 child survival RCT. These spots were based on extensive formative research into barriers to behaviour change surrounding malaria prevention and treatment-seeking. We extensively pretested the spots to gauge audience engagement and understanding, particularly in areas where we had not broadcast malaria messages before. The spots encouraged prevention behaviours such as sleeping under a bed net, helping caregivers recognise symptoms of malaria and encouraging them to seek prompt and affordable treatment.
We translated our spots into four additional languages – Lobiri, Kassem, Dagara, Bissa – meaning we were able to broadcast our campaign in the 10 most widely spoken languages in Burkina Faso. We broadcast the campaign ten times a day, 7 days a week, for 13 weeks on 39 radio stations. The campaign was broadcast from July to October 2019. From 1st October 2019, the malaria messaging was incorporated into a newly funded 2-year national child survival radio campaign: Saving Lives Burkina Faso.
Listen to the spot
This campaign was immediately continued and extended for 2 years with funding from the Light Foundation. The impact of Saving Lives Burkina Faso will be evaluated and results will be posted on the Saving Lives Burkina Faso page when available.
This campaign was our first campaign entirely funded using unrestricted funds from GiveWell and individual donors. We are grateful to the many donors supporting our high-impact child survival work.
Following the results of our child survival RCT, we have taken our child survival campaigns to scale in Burkina Faso and Mozambique, and are actively seeking funding to expand these campaigns to Tanzania and West Africa.