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Medical Aid Films (MAF)

Coordinating Organisation Medical Aid Films (MAF), UK
Organisers/Type of Organisation NGO
Initiative Type Training, animations/films
Field of Science Involved Maternal health/birth practices
Target Audience(s) Skilled/community health workers, communities and individuals
Reach Global

Main Objectives

Medical Aid Films use film and innovative media to transform the health and wellbeing of women and children around the world.

Description of work

Medical Aid Films brings together world-class health and medical expertise with creative filmmakers from around the world – developing innovative media to transform the health and wellbeing of women and children in low-income countries. They have over 250 films in over 20 languages available for free on their website

They bring 10 years’ experience in developing and delivering high quality education and training films for major partners including Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Guy’s & St Thomas’, GE Healthcare, Department for International Development and many more.

Their approach focusses on Partnership – lasting, meaningful partnerships are at the heart of their work, from film development to delivery; Production – through rigorous expert review, they create accessible, engaging, high quality film content; Innovation — they use new technologies where appropriate to make their content accessible to health workers and communities, and, Making a difference — putting audiences first, they work to understand how people learn through film.

MAF work with medical and academic institutions, global NGOs, local partners, government departments and private sector partners. Some examples of recent projects include:

Global: with the International Confederation of Midwives, MAF produced a film celebrating the vital role of midwives around the world. The film – 'A Midwife Like Me' – shows how dedicated and skilled midwives can help women have the best experience before, during and after child birth, encouraging them to make their own informed decisions around normal birth practice.

Ethiopia, India and Zimbabwe: production of a training film for King’s College London’s ground breaking CRADLE VSA device, a cheap, robust and reusable life-saving tool that detects warning signs in pregnancy. The film shows how to check blood pressure and heart rate using the CRADLE VSA and also outlines the first steps to take if there is an abnormality in these readings.

Sudan: New animations from their participatory film workshop are part of the ground-breaking Girls’ Education South Sudan Programme (GESS), where girls’ lives are being transformed by access to education, in a country where on-going conflict continues to have a devastating effect on schooling and the education sector.

Working with Mott MacDonald’s UK Aid funded programme, GESS and Medical Aid Films undertook a participatory film and animation workshop in May 2017, to bring together teenage girls to tell their stories to a wider audience. Ten girls from several different locations were selected to ensure diverse representation, the workshop was held in Juba.  The resulting films and animations explore the challenges faced by girls living in South Sudan. The animations are made up of images drawn by the girls themselves and the participants also recorded the narrations to help bring the films to life. The films cover 3 different themes, common within young female communities in South Sudan. 

Conflict and displacement – ‘Poni’s Journey’, follows a young girl being displaced due to conflict and moving to the protection of civilian camps in Juba.

Economic poverty – ‘Keji Counts’, follows a young girl having to miss school as her mother thinks fees are too expensive. Instead she works with her mother at their tomato stall in the market. Keji’s maths skills mean she is able to help her mother improve their business, which eventually enables her mother to send Keji and her siblings back to school.

Attitudes to girls’ education – ‘Rose the Engineer’, follows a young girl called Rose skipping school as she does not see any value in it, instead spending time with her boyfriend on his motorbike. When the motorbike breaks down, the engineer at the garage asks why Rose is not at school. Rose is inspired by the engineer’s work and starts attending school so that she can train to become an engineer herself.

More information


Medical Aid Films’ has a systematic approach to evaluation and learning giving an insight into their wider constituency of engaged film users. Three examples include:

Evaluation Summary – Transforming Maternal Health in the DRC: this report summarises findings from a feasibility study of the Nyangezi Maternal Health pilot intervention, where Medical Aid Films content was integrated into their health education and promotional work.

Evaluation Summary – Chitambo Film Project Zambia: in 2012, Medical Aid Films worked with Chitambo Hospital in eastern Zambia to run film screenings at biweekly antenatal care clinics and during monthly outreach sessions at rural health posts. This report outlines the findings from the monitoring and evaluation aspect of the project.

Annual Survey, 2016: the 2016 Annual Survey was their first ever electronic survey focusing on the ‘reach’ and the ‘use’ of our films. The survey is part of their M&E framework – Medical Aid Films’ systematic approach to evaluation and learning – and gives an insight into the wider constituency of engaged film users.  

Resources used or generated

Websites, films, videos, animations - all available online

Contact Details
Principal Contact Will Sanderson
Address 16 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3ED, UK
e-mail Will Sanderson
Social Media Facebook - MedicalAidFilms
Twitter - @MAFfilmsforlife
Instagram - medicalaid_films

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