Research films

MIMBLE – Restoring the gut microbiome of children with severe acute malnutrition

MIMBLE (Modifying gut integrity and microbiome in children with severe acute malnutrition using legume-based feeds) is a project that looks at whether locally produced feeds containing fibres from beans, soy and sweet potatoes, can help restore the health of African children with severe acute malnultrition – one of the big killers of children in many countries – by providing food for beneficial gut bacteria.

iKMC – Immediate Kangaroo Mother Care for low birth weight babies

The WHO is recommending a major reorganisation of care for low birth weight babies, half of whom currently do not survive. This follows a landmark Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial which showed that very premature babies are best cared for in skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately after birth.

SHINE trial – Shorter treatment for minimal TB in children

In 2020 an estimated 1.1 million children fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) globally. A quarter those children are estimated to have died, despite the fact that TB is treatable. This film shows how a ground-breaking multi country randomised controlled clinical trial, co-ordinated by MRC-CTU at UCL and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, has already led to changes in WHO guidelines and will help to fight the spread of TB in children. The full length version includes a discussion about implementing the trial results.

COVID on the Breadline

What does COVID-19 mean for the three quarters of a billion of the world’s inhabitants who live below the poverty line? Will they be hit harder by the pandemic – or by the measures in place designed to slow its spread? What will it mean for the children of the world’s poor, five million of whom die every year before they reach their fifth birthday? 

ODYSSEY/PENTA 20 – Dolutegravir for Children living with HIV

Developing medicines for children almost always lags behind adults. This short film is about research to develop dispersible dolutegravir tablets for children living with HIV.


What is the impact of growing up with HIV and taking medication? This major study in the UK showed that in most areas HIV positive young people do just as well as their non-positive peers. They are no more likely, for instance, to suffer from depression or other mental health problems. This film was made by HIV positive young people involved in the study.

TRACT Trial – Transfusion and treatment of severe anaemia in African children

Severe Anaemia is one of the highest causes of death in African children, caused by many conditions from Malaria and HIV to Sickle cell disease. This film looks at the surprising results of a major Clinical Trial testing different treatment strategies. We are making training films for emergency teams and blood transfusion services based on the evidence now available.

Thanzi la Onse (Health of All)

Have you ever wondered what Health Economists do? Thanzi la Onse, which means ‘Health of All’, is a multi-centre project to use health economics and computer modelling to help Malawi and other East African countries assign their limited health budgets to save most lives. This film looks at the competing demands in a big central hospital in Malawi to provide a Health Economics 101 – or Health Economics for dummies.

Retaining Mothers on HIV treatment: The INSPIRE Studies (2017)

HIV treatment can stop transmission of the virus from mothers to their babies. But how do you ensure all women are retained on treatment and so benefit?  Six studies carried out by the WHO in Africa recruited more than 5000 pregnant women. They provided hard evidence that peer support by “Mentor” and “Expert” mothers significantly helps with retention.

Reducing HIV deaths among late presenters: REALITY Trial (2017)

Every year an estimated million people die of HIV related illness, despite the availability of very effective treatment. The highest death rate is among patients who seek treatment very late. The REALITY Trial showed how giving this group extra prophylaxis medicines could save many lives.

Developing HIV baby pills: The CHAPAS Clinical Trials (2017)

The story of a small Malawian boy, whose life has been changed by the replacement of syrups and adult pills with baby pills which are far better adapted for use in an African village. The pills were developed by CIPLA and tested in the CHAPAS trials.

Chiedza’s Song: Growing up with HIV in Zimbabwe (2015)

A film project to provoke debate in Communities and Schools, where the story is told entirely from the perspective of a brave girl growing up with HIV in Harare. The film is built around, ZENITH, a Wellcome Trust funded research project looking at HIV prevalence of young people in Harare, and improving community care..

Ending Preventable Stillbirths – A Lancet Special Series (2016)

More than 2.6 million stillbirths occur globally every year with very slow progress being made to tackle this ‘silent problem’, according to research published in The Lancet. This film tells the stories of two women, in the UK and Malawi, and their common search to come to terms with the stillbirth of a baby.

Anatomy of a Clinical Trial – FEAST (2011)

These films tells the story of a major clinical trial in Africa which contradicted twenty years of clinical practice in the developed world using IV fluid resuscitation for children with febrile shock. It shows clearly why Randomized Controlled Trails are the gold standard for evidence.

DART and ARROW Clinical Trials: HIV priorities for Africa. How important is monitoring HIV treatment with routine laboratory tests?

This set of films tell the stories of two major Clinical Trials which pioneered the roll-out of HIV treatment in Africa. They are built around the moving stories of trial participants, many of whom were close to death when they joined and were the first in their communities to receive Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART). The results of the trials strongly suggest that rollout of ARVs should have been a much higher priority than investing in expensive routing lab testing, especially in rural areas with no labs..

Emergency Triage and Treatment (ETAT) in children

The film explores the impact of introducing ETAT (Emergency Triage and Treatment) into a district hospital in Uganda as part of a major international clinical trial. It shows how an effective ETAT process can save lives, boost morale and enhance the reputation of a hospital and its staff in the community.

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