Making a Difference – Medical Aid Films wins award for outstanding research  

Medical Aid Films has won the ESOMAR Foundation’s Making a Difference Award, which recognises charities using outstanding research to make a positive difference in society.  

The award recognises how research findings have been used to develop new digital health content for an adolescent health screening project, and to influence local practice in a rural area of eastern Zambia.  

The study, led by Oliver Mweemba, Helen Smith and Helen Coombe, explored gender-specific responses to educational films around maternal and child health. The research showed the films’ potential to improve women’s and men’s knowledge and awareness of maternal and child health topics and increase male involvement during pregnancy and birth. 

Study findings add to an increasing body of evidence around the power of educational film as an effective tool in helping improve public health in low-income settings. Health workers told the research team that the films have advantages over traditional ‘health education’, citing ‘what you see, you don’t forget’ and the benefits of seeing content that is ‘relatable’. 

Through the Making a Difference Awards the ESOMAR Foundation – a charitable Foundation representing the Market, Social and Opinion Research industry – raises awareness of the impact of great research on the work of charities. 

Helen Coombe, Head of Evaluation and Research at Medical Aid Films said,

“Understanding what makes effective public health films is integral to our work – learning gained from our research always informs our productions and projects. With digital communication now dominating daily life, the increasing use of film in health education and training means it is even more important that research guides the development of relevant and appropriate content for the most disadvantaged communities and health workers around the world.” 

Medical Aid Film’s research work will be recognised during ESOMAR’s 75th Anniversary Congress held on 18-21 September in Toronto.