Child illness and mortality is one of the great tragedies of our age. More than ten million children of the world�s children die each year before reaching the age of five. Sadly, two of every three of these children die from easily preventable, treatable diseases such as diarrhea, malaria, pneumonia, tetanus and from conditions like malnutrition. In addition, HIV/AIDS continues
Deploying the mass media to address this tragedy has been an important goal of those associated with Empowering Communications. They have been on the forefront of providing inspiration and information to parents and communities to improve the survival, health and well-being of the world�s children to be a leading cause of death for young children in Africa.
Gregory Pirio played a key role in securing the resources and developing the concept for the Broadcasting for Child Survival conference. Broadcasters from Africa, Asia and Latin America represented at the event made the commitment to using radio and TV resources to improve the survival and healthy development of the children in their broadcast areas. As a result of the conference, private broadcastings stations worldwide formed the Association of Broadcasters for Child Survival (ABCS) -- an association of broadcasters and broadcasting organizations, worldwide to promote more effective broadcasting initiatives in support of child survival.
In addition, some of the world�s largest public broadcasting entities � the VOA, BBC, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Radio France Internationale and Radio Netherlands-- launched campaigns to bring child health programs to their audiences.
In a 1998 address on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton highlighted VOA�s broadcasts around Child Survival themes as one of the accomplishments of her husband�s administration in promoting the welfare of children.
An example of one of the many Child Survival projects promoted under the supervision of Dr. Pirio was that of a VOA reporter who interviewed Quechua and Aymara Indians in Bolivia, as well as doctors, health care officials, and cabinet ministers. The information gathered was used to develop a 10-program radio series on maternal and infant mortality. In addition to increasing awareness of child survival issues in the Bolivian population, the programs sought to motivate local media to serve their communities with public service radio programming.