National Scale-up of a Radio Campaign for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Survival in Mozambique
Billions of dollars have been spent on global health, but millions of people still die each year from largely preventable causes like malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea. Simple, proven practices can prevent many of these deaths, but there is a gap in the adoption of such healthy behaviors like exclusive breastfeeding, handwashing, and the use of insecticide-treated bednets. Development Media International (DMI) seeks to address this gap by designing, implementing, and evaluating mass media campaigns to encourage healthy changes in behavior. Mass media has the potential to be one of the least expensive, easiest to deliver, and highest ROI health interventions available.
With UP funding, DMI tested if a national media campaign at scale is the most cost-effective approach to improving maternal, newborn and child survival. DMI raised awareness about simple life-saving solutions through a comprehensive radio campaign in Mozambique, where 84,000 children die every year before their fifth birthday. The idea was that DMI’s campaign could not only save lives in Mozambique but could also influence how donors and governments spend their development dollars, potentially saving millions of lives at a fraction of the cost of other interventions.
The study revealed that DMI's maternal and child health mass media campaign increased health-seeking behavior and saved children's lives in Mozambique. As a result, DMI secured funding to extend the campaign for 2 years. In 2019, DMI used some of unspent UP funds to develop a public health campaign in response to Cyclone Idai.