This research tested the effectiveness of locally made videos—that included portions of Global Health Media Project videos—in improving the knowledge and practices on maternal and child health among women living in rural Eastern Uganda.

The study—by the Makere University School of Public Health—was conducted in 2014–2015 in the Iganga and Luuka districts of Eastern Uganda. Over 600 mothers who participated in the video education and a similar number were included in the control group. Global Health Media Project’s “Danger Signs in Newborns” was narrated in Lusoga for this research. The video messages were approved by the Ugandan Ministry of Health and a representative from WHO in charge of community health.

The videos were shown to the pregnant and postnatal mothers in village/community halls, school classrooms, or churches. Every mother had the opportunity to watch the video more than once and to ask questions during the sessions. The effectiveness of the videos were measured using baseline, midterm and end-term assessments, and included both quantitative statistical analysis and qualitative discussions with the participants.

The study showed dramatic increases in knowledge and that the video education can change attitudes and practices. The authors conclude that there is a need to scale up video education to more effectively reach mothers in rural communities who may be semi-literate and have limited access to such information.

The full article (“Community-made mobile videos as a mechanism for maternal, newborn and child health education in rural Uganda; a quantitative evaluation” by Juliet Ntuulo Mutanda, Peter Waiswa, and Sarah Namutamba) is available at this link. It was published in African Health Sciences, December 2016, Volume 16 Issue 4.