Explaining complex medical procedures to adults is difficult enough, but explaining them to children is even harder, so Dr Kim Chilman-Blair has come up with a solution to help kids better understand their illnesses.

Medikidz is a business created by Dr Chilman-Blair and is the only organisation in the global market place creating medical information for children.

"We launched in September 2009, and have gone from strength to strength. Last week we sold our 1.5 millionth comic book, which is now in 35 different countries and in 18 languages," she said.

Dr Chilman-Blair and co-founder of Medikidz Dr Kate Hersov have produced a series of comic books for children with over 40 titles explaining diseases and disorders, ranging from autism to swine flu.


The comics use a variety of stories and analogies that relate back to the body to communicate complicated concepts to sick children.

The books' characters are a team of superhero kids, the Medikids, who are each specialists in understanding the human body.

"Skinderella, she's skin and bones, Chi is the lungs, Pump is the heart and blood disorders, Axon is the brain and Gastro is gastro-intestinal," Dr Chilman-Blair said.

They have their own personalities and in each book they take a different child with an illness and work with them to show and explain what is happening to their body.

Dr Chilman-Blair is from Hawke's Bay, having attended Havelock North High School and then worked as a doctor at Hawke's Bay Hospital after completing her training in Otago.

She returned to Hawke's Bay this week on maternity leave to see family and friends.

The London-based company has a staff of 50, which includes a production team made up of doctors and a commercial team who get sponsorship deals for the books around the world.

Dr Chilman-Blair said that this year the company was moving into a more digital space for children.


"We've found with all the research we've done with children that they still love to read comics. We've tried doing different things online like animating comics and things but they still prefer to sit down with a book and read it," Dr Chilman-Blair said.

The company is looking to expand in the next year into television and online animation so the Medikidz will really come alive.

The other development for the company is to expand its US market, which will mean a shift for Dr Chilman-Blair to New York.