Location Child survival

Saving Lives Burkina Faso


Our objective for this campaign is to cost-effectively save children’s lives by reducing the number of children dying from malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. To do this, we expanded our successful, evidence-based child survival campaign from a regional to national level in Burkina Faso. Modelling suggests that this campaign could save the lives of approximately 3,300 children under 5.


Burkina Faso


Child survival – Encouraging parents to seek treatment for children with symptoms of malaria, pneumonia or diarrhoea, encouraging antenatal care attendance and promoting breastfeeding.


144 x 1-minute radio spots and live, interactive phone-in radio programmes, produced in 10 languages


Our radio campaign will broadcast from October 2019 to September 2021 on 33 radio stations in Burkina Faso.


11.3 million people

Project at a glance

Radio spots
Estimated lives saved

Our Approach

A researcher using a data collection tool demonstrating the field research conducted for this campaign


A High-Fidelity Scale Up

We conducted a randomised controlled trial (RCT) which demonstrated that mass media campaigns can increase life-saving treatment-seeking behaviours for children with symptoms of malaria, pneumonia or diarrhoea. Modelling suggested that a national scale up of the tested radio campaign would save an estimated 3,300 lives and would be a highly cost-effective way of saving lives – at $602 USD per life saved. This is what we set out to do.


Engaging, high-impact content

In 2020, we ran focus group discussions with families in different regions of Burkina Faso to understand the barriers to care-seeking for malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea, as well as maternal health, nutrition and  sanitation and hygiene behaviours. A widespread barrier to behaviour change that we discovered was the belief that breastmilk alone does not meet 0-6 month old children’s nutrition needs. Based on insights like these, our team in Burkina Faso are producing 104 dramatic and 40 informational radio spots to enable caregivers to recognise malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea symptoms, and help them to seek prompt and affordable treatment. We are also producing spots encouraging parents to attend antenatal care and to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months.

A man testing his son's temperature to represent the theme of child survival in this campaign
A man holding a radio demonstrating the distribution mechanism used in this campaign


24 months, 144 spots, 10 languages

We will broadcast our campaign for 24 months on 33 radio stations, in the 10 most widely spoken languages in Burkina Faso. Radio spots will be broadcast 10 times per day to ensure they reach the largest audience.

We are also working with our radio station partners to create and broadcast interactive phone-in shows two hours per night, 6 nights per month on 17 of these stations. This format presents listeners with stories they can relate to and invites them to discuss the key behaviours, allowing the community to engage with the content collectively and in depth.


Project impact

Our Impact

Evaluation Plans

We are conducting large-scale baseline and endline surveys to gather data on people’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to child survival and maternal health.  Project impact results will be published here when available.

Partners & Funders

We are grateful to the Light Foundation for funding this intervention.

The Light Foundation logo

What Next

Scale Up Plans

We are delivering a similar national radio campaign in Mozambique and are actively seeking to expand our child survival programming in Tanzania and West Africa.