Can Film Save Lives? How one organisation is using film to train nurses and midwives in Somaliland

By Francis Webster, Head of Development at Medical Aid Films

If you are an expectant mother or a child under 5 years old, then one of the most dangerous places in the world to live is Somaliland.  This autonomous region in Somalia has among the highest rates of maternal and child mortality in the world, with a health infrastructure destroyed by civil war and doctors and nurses having fled to refugee camps or overseas.

Fouzia Mohamed Ismail is the Director of the Somaliland Nursing and Midwifery Association (SLNMA), and one of the many highly qualified nurses and midwives who have returned, determined to rebuild the region’s health system.  She is using film to train a new generation of health workers, taking their skills to build a new, improved health system for the people of Somaliland.

Medical Aid Films has been working in partnership with the SLNMA, developing films to educate and train nurses and midwives in essential life-saving skills about complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and to engage with the wider community about life-saving issues in maternal and child health education.

The films cover a range of topics, from emergency obstetric care to nutrition in pregnancy, and are explained in an easy-to-understand format, with animations and narrated in Somali.  They present a truly sustainable way to support training in the long term, as a lasting resource to be used again and again to strengthen the work of Fouzia and her colleagues.

Your favourite film leaves a lasting impression on you.  These films can truly leave a lasting impression on the people of Somaliland, helping to ensure that all health workers, wherever they are, have access to the high quality training to build their skills and improve care for mums and babies.

To learn more about this work, watch Badra’s Story.

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