Picturing Health

Films made or in progress


For dissemination of research results:


• TV Documentary and films aimed at policy makers about the DART clinical Trial.  At its time the largest HIV treatment trial in Africa.  The Documentary, shown on BBC World and on TV stations in at least 6 African countries,  was runner up for BMJ Health Communicator of the year award, 2011. Film made with Medical Research Council – Clinical Trials Unit and Imperial College.  https://vimeo.com/125340637

• Two 7 minute films about the ARROW trial (A randomized controlled clinical trial looking at treatment options for HIV in children). Films made with Medical Research Council – Clinical Trials Unit and Imperial College.

• A set of films about the FEAST clinical trial. Films made with Medical Research Council – Clinical Trials Unit and KEMRI-WELCOME TRUST, Kenya:
*     For dissemination of the FEAST results (used by various TV and media including the Guardian)
*     A 40 minute film for training (as an example of what is a clinical trial) aimed at medical schools/health teams and for general education.  https://vimeo.com/113930585
*      To inform policy makers about the trial results and explain the need for guideline changes.

• When to Start? HIV’s Unanswered Question.  A half hour documentary shot (in 2010) in UK, Brazil and South Africa looking at the research being done into when to start treatment for HIV. It now needs updating following the results of the START trial which answered the unanswered question.


For training clinicians and health workers:


• Twelve 3 to 15 minute long interactive HIV paediatric case study films. These are being trialled by the PENTA group in training courses carried out across Africa.  They were mostly filmed at Zomba Central Hospital, Malawi. (Another 8 case studies have been filmed but not yet edited.) Films made with MRC-CTU and Imperial College as part of a DIFD funded research project. Examples at:  https://vimeo.com/138299384 and https://vimeo.com/138237309

• Thirty-two case study films of 3-9 minutes in length for adult HIV care. These were mostly filmed at Zomba Central Hospital. (Another 8 case studies are filmed but not yet edited.) Films made with MRC-CTU and Imperial College as part of a DIFD funded research project.

• 12 case study films of patients with HIV and non communicable diseases (diabetes, cervical cancer and hypertension). These are currently being filmed at Zomba Central Hospital, Malawi. Films being made with Dignitas International (A Canadian NGO specializing in HIV care) as part of a project to pilot integrated HIV/NCD care in southern Malawi, funded by Canadian development. These have been filmed, but not yet scripted and edited.

• Seven films totalling more than two hours of footage to provide the backbone of a Diabetes course in Malawi conducted by Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital for smaller regional hospitals around the country. These are also being used for patient information – especially the film about Diet, made in Chichewa rather than English. Example at: https://vimeo.com/105294920

• A set of 12 films (totalling two and a half hours) to provide the backbone of a two day course to teach the use of a low cost CPAP machine. (Machines used to assist breathing and deliver oxygen to premature babies and critically sick infants.) The Machine was developed using aquarium pumps by medical engineering students at Rice University, Texas, on request from doctors at Queens hospital, Malawi. It is now being rolled out across East Africa. (Project funded by USAID and others) Example at: https://vimeo.com/128965275

• Five 15 minute films to accompany ETAT (Emergency Triage and Treatment) courses worldwide. These cover all the basic resuscitation, diagnostic and emergency treatment skills needed in a paediatric emergency room. The courses are being rolled out across Africa. These films were commissioned by the World Health Organisation.


For Patient information:


• All you need to know about HIV.  This is a film which is half way through being made. It is half real film and half animation. The pilot film is for a Malawian audience, but it can then be adapted to other countries in the region. It’s target audience will be people who have just tested HIV positive. It is designed to give them all the information they need in counselling sessions to live with HIV and for treatment to be successful. It is not designed to replace counselling, but rather to complement it and free up time for busy counsellors to concentrate on individual/family problems that patients may have. In the film a well known Malawian TV personality, who has been living with HIV for more than a decade and who everyone recognises tells his story to a pregnant lady who has just tested HIV positive. As he explains the progression of HIV, the film zooms into his body to show an animated HIV virus, opportunistic infections, Defence cells and Anti-retroviral medicines. It has been funded by a donation from Dr Yusuf Hamied of the CIPLA foundation.

• Diet for Diabetes and Hypertension.  This is a half hour film, at present in Chichewa, which runs through the principles of diet for those living with diabetes and high blood pressure. It uses an actor/clown called the equivalent of “Mr Eats-too-much” who plays the part of an “expert patient” and disobeys instructions to eat all the foods not recommended for those living with diabetes.

 A number of the training films are also being adapted or could be adapted for patient information.


Community projects and films to provoke discussion and change attitudes and behaviour:


• Make ART Stop AIDS (MASA) Community film project, Malawi. This is a 50 minute film built on a community drama project, being shown on a big screen in Villages in Southern Malawi.  It is the brainchild of Sharifa Abdulla, a drama lecturer at Chancellor College, Malawi and other members of the Arts and Global Health Centre. She spent three weeks in a village working with the HIV positive community and local artists to build a funny and provocative interactive performance which tells their stories and is designed to provoke a community wide discussion on what to do about the HIV epidemic. We filmed them acting out this performance to a 1500 strong audience of their own community. We then mixed in interviews with the main actors and other scenes which tell the actor’s real stories. The resulting film is being showing  to village audiences, with local traditional authorities, local health centre representatives and other relevant groups all present. The film is designed to provoke a discussion which can kick-start health initiatives and overcome the main community barriers to people accessing HIV treatment – particularly stigma and lack of disclosure about HIV status within families and between partners. The project is in partnership with Dignitas International, Arts and Global Health Centre and the Malawi Ministry of Health.  A short film about the project can be seen at: https://vimeo.com/113049351

• Chiedza. This film tells the story of an HIV positive girl growing up in Zimbabwe. We never actually see Chidza. Instead the camera is her eyes. Se see what she sees and hear what she hears. We also hear her voice and her thoughts as she interacts with the world. This film is being funded by a Wellcome Trust dissemination grant for research being carried out by the Biomedical Research and Training Institute, Ziimbabwe and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

• Audio materials for the CHIVA web site. This project involved two residential courses with HIV positive young people in the UK to teach them to do “radio” style interviews with each other and other young people. They then made audio materials for the web site on a range of topics faced by young people growing up with HIV in the UK.

• Promotional films for St Stephen’s Trust (HIV) and Westminster HomeStart.

• Malaria project connecting school children between Liverpool and Blantyre, Malawi. (Part of a Wellcome Trust public engagement project). The school children in Malawi themselves did the filming.

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