A mass radio campaign in Burkina Faso led to a significant rise in sick children getting medical attention and could prove to be one of the most cost-effective ways to save young lives in poor countries, researchers said Tuesday.

Publishing results of a trial involving a radio campaign in rural areas that promoted treatment-seeking for three of the biggest killers of children under 5 — malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea — researchers said around 3,000 lives were saved.

"What this study shows is that using mass media to drive people to health centres is actually more cost-effective than almost anything on earth in terms of saving children's lives," said Roy Head, who co-led the study.