In 2010, nearly 9 million children under five years of age died of causes that are largely preventable: pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria with malnutrition as an underlying cause of over half of these deaths. In more than 65 countries around the world, PSI applies marketing concepts and techniques to influence healthy behaviors among a target audience that benefits individuals and society. PSI relies on existing commercial market channels and community mobilization to generate awareness about the value of the key child health behaviors that combat pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition. These channels allow PSI programs to reach national scale by building health products and communications into existing networks. From television, radio and print media, to community level interpersonal communication (IPC), PSI combines education to motivate behavior change with the provision of necessary health products and services to reduce child deaths. Local knowledge, attitudes and practices are integrated into communications messages by continually conducting outreach and research. PSI supports national ministries of health to implement integrated child survival programs and enable the scale up of proven, evidence-based interventions that are appropriately packaged and marketed in the local context.
This brief provides an overview of these health areas that are most threatening children’s lives, and a description of how PSI is responding to them.