192 episodes

Health issues and medical breakthroughs from around the world.

Health Check BBC World Service

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.3 • 102 Ratings

Health issues and medical breakthroughs from around the world.

    Nigeria rolls out world’s first 5-in-1 meningitis vaccine

    Nigeria rolls out world’s first 5-in-1 meningitis vaccine

    After a 50% jump in meningitis cases reported across Africa last year, Nigeria is becoming the first country to roll out a new 5-in-1 meningitis vaccine. The Men5CV vaccine protects people against five strains of the meningococcus bacteria.
    Claudia Hammond is joined by New Scientist medical journalist Clare Wilson to discuss how it’s hoped the treatment will help significantly reduce cases of the disease.
    We also head to Brazil to hear how the country is dealing with long Covid, four years after the pandemic.
    Clare also tells Claudia about the new cancer treatment testing different drugs on thousands of miniature tumours to see which of them works best. The team behind the research at Florida International University in Miami say they hope it could eventually be used routinely for everyone with cancer.
    We also get a new update from British journalist Mike Powell, as we follow his journey after receiving a kidney transplant.
    And Claudia and Clare look at how patches of skin grafted onto people receiving lung transplants are being used as a way of spotting organ rejection in a new trial.
    Image Credit: Martin Harvey
    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Dan Welsh

    • 26 min
    How we hope

    How we hope

    Claudia Hammond presents a special edition of Health Check from the Northern Ireland Science Festival, where she’s joined by a panel of experts to discuss the psychology of hope.
    With a live audience in Belfast’s Metropolitan Arts Centre, Claudia speaks to Dr Karen Kirby, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Ulster; Dr Kevin Mitchell, associate professor of genetics and neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin; and author Sinéad Moriarty.
    Topics include the role of hope in medical scenarios, if we can learn to be hopeful, and how we can hold onto hope in the modern world. We also hear questions from our audience, including whether or not we should all just lower our expectations.
    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Dan Welsh

    • 26 min
    Puerto Rico declares dengue fever emergency

    Puerto Rico declares dengue fever emergency

    As the recent surge in cases of dengue fever continues across Latin America and the Caribbean, Puerto Rico declares a public health emergency.
    Claudia Hammond is joined by Professor of Global Health and Epidemiology at Boston University, Matt Fox, to hear how warmer temperatures have lead to outbreaks of the mosquito-borne disease around the world, with millions of cases reported so far this year.
    We speak to the artist Jason Wilsher-Mills at his latest exhibition inspired by his childhood experiences of disability, and hear the role it played in his journey into the arts.
    Claudia and Matt discuss the spread of mpox in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with cases reported in all but 3 of the country’s 26 provinces.
    We hear from Uganda about the project hoping to help provide essential equipment for safe anaesthesia in children’s surgery.
    And the study that says just two nights of broken sleep are enough to make us feel years older.
    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Dan Welsh

    • 26 min
    Pig kidney transplanted into patient

    Pig kidney transplanted into patient

    The latest on the first procedure to transplant a kidney from a pig into a living patient. Claudia Hammond is joined in the studio by Dr Graham Easton to hear how the organ was genetically modified to reduce the risk of it being rejected following a four hour surgery in Massachusetts in the US.
    We also hear about the data that’s linked working outdoors in sunlight to non-melanoma skin cancer. The report from the World Health Organisation and the International Labour Organization says one in three deaths from this type of skin cancer is caused by ultraviolet radiation from outdoor work.
    Claudia and Graham also discuss new research from India that’s found working in extreme heat can double the risk of stillbirth and miscarriage for pregnant women. It’s also calling for more advice for working pregnant women around the world.
    We go to Cameroon to hear about the medicines being sold to passengers on buses, despite there being no evidence they actually work.
    And we hear how some reporting over claims that intermittent fasting is linked to an increased risk of heart-related death may have jumped the gun.
    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Dan Welsh
    (Photo: Operating theatre. Credit: Getty Images)

    • 27 min
    Should we stop talking about long Covid?

    Should we stop talking about long Covid?

    Most people with Covid-19 make a full recovery within 12 weeks, but some patients have experienced ongoing symptoms for much longer. This has become known as ‘long Covid’. However, new research suggests that the rates of ongoing symptoms and functional impairment after Covid are indistinguishable from other post-viral illnesses, and that long Covid may have appeared to be a distinct and severe illness because of high volumes of Covid-19 cases during the pandemic. Presenter Claudia Hammond is joined in the studio by BBC Health reporter Philippa Roxby to discuss the findings. If long Covid is not unique, could this new spotlight encourage research that would help sufferers of other post-viral conditions?
    The use of heart pacemakers have become a standard procedure in many countries. Pacemakers are small electrical devices implanted in the chest that send electrical pulses to the heart to keep it beating regularly and not too slowly. The devices can be lifesaving for some people. But devices can malfunction, there can be problems with leads and the batteries in them don’t last forever. Over half of all pacemaker patients live long enough to require a battery replacement operation, which carries a risk of serious complications including life-threatening infection. This can have big cost implications for health systems and devastating consequences for patients. Reporter Hannah Fisher attends one of these operations to find out more.
    An initiative to make the right to abortion part of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights has been introduced to the European Parliament. This comes on the heels of France making abortion a constitutional right earlier this month, in stark contrast to the removal of abortion as a constitutional right in the USA in 2022. We assess the initiative’s chances of success and discuss the ripple effect of US politics on abortion rights across the rest of the world.
    Amputees who use prosthetic limbs have to get used to the fact that they do not experience the sensations that they were previously used to. But now researchers in Italy and Switzerland have developed a temperature-sensitive robotic hand that allows amputees to discriminate between objects of different temperatures and sense bodily contact with other humans. Solaiman Shokur of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne tells Claudia how it works.
    And Philippa brings the story of Paul Alexander, a polio survivor who spent most of his life inside an iron lung. An iron lung is a metal cylinder enclosing the body up to the neck, with bellows to force the lungs to inflate and deflate. The device has been obsolete since the 1960s, but he continued to use his until he died recently. 72 years after Paul contracted polio, we look at how the disease has nearly been eradicated worldwide.
    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Ben Motley and Margaret Sessa-Hawkins
    (Photo: Man in bed. Credit: Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images)

    • 27 min
    A promising new cancer treatment

    A promising new cancer treatment

    The toxic mineral asbestos is still mined across the world, despite it’s much documented links to cancer. Now there are promising results from a new global study into one of the most aggressive types of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
    Also on the programme, we receive an exciting update from Mike, who has gotten a long-awaited kidney transplant, and we discuss new treatment protocols for Hepatitis B and how they could better serve people in southern and eastern Africa.

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
102 Ratings

102 Ratings

Vix144 ,

Brilliant

Informative and interesting, recommended!

Tammy, UK ,

Repeats other podcasts

Too many sections taken from Inside Health. Either keep these podcasts separate or put on same feed.

Aminha Canela ,

Annoying presenter bit excellent research

“I’m Claudia Hammond...” how many times do you need to tell us? Get we just get on with hearing about the interesting research?

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