27 episodes

Health issues and medical breakthroughs from around the world.

Health Chec‪k‬ BBC

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.3 • 79 Ratings

Health issues and medical breakthroughs from around the world.

    Modern medicine versus the spirits

    Modern medicine versus the spirits

    When it comes to mending broken bones or rectifying the eye problems caused by the disease Trachoma, what place does traditional medicine have? Many people would choose traditional medicine practitioners over conventional doctors and hospitals. However herbalism and spiritual belief are poor substitutes when surgery is needed. Can these two very different approaches be reconciled for the benefit of patients?
    Priscila Ngethe, Khadidiatou Cisse, and Charles Mgbolu discuss the conflict and potential for collaboration between the opposing forces of traditional and orthodox medicine.

    • 26 min
    Pregnancy and Covid-19 vaccination

    Pregnancy and Covid-19 vaccination

    Health Check looks into issues around Covid-19 vaccination and pregnant women.

    Harvard researcher Julia Wu has just done a global survey of attitudes of pregnant women about being vaccinated against Covid-19. Acceptance is highest in low and middle income countries such as India and Latin America. The greatest levels of reluctance were in the US and Russia.

    Pfizer has started the first trial of a Covid-19 vaccine in pregnant women, which will ultimately involve 4000 women in ten countries in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Should we have waited this long for the first trial in this group of people, seeing that pregnant women are at greater risk of hospitalisation, death and premature birth if they become infected? Claudia discusses the unknowns and risk/benefit considerations around vaccinating pregnant women against the virus, with Johns Hopkins medical ethicist Ruth Faden and maternal immunisation researcher Acuzena Bardiji of the Institute for Global Health in Barcelona.

    Matt Fox in Boston is our guest of the week, talking about the latest evidence for Covid vaccines being transmission blockers and whether vaccine hesitant people should be paid to be immunised.

    From a freezing Canadian river bank, Sian Griffiths reports on the health pros and cons of surfing three metre high waves on the ice filled Ottawa River.

    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker


    Image: Pregnant woman receiving a coronavirus vaccine in Tel Aviv, Israel
    Credit: Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

    • 30 min
    Africa’s blood shortage

    Africa’s blood shortage

    We’re looking at why levels of blood donation in Africa are so low compared with other parts of the world. From Nigeria we hear about hospitals having to ask patients and family members to give blood to ensure there is enough for their relatives if they require treatment. From Somalia we look at how the continuing violence and unrest has brought into sharp focus the need for an organised system of blood donation – currently there is only one donor centre – for the whole country, run by volunteers. And in Kenya we meet people who refuse blood transfusions, believing they might take on the characteristics of the person donating the blood. Health workers and religious leaders are coming together to try to change these beliefs.
    Presented by Priscilla Ngethe with contributions from Bella Sheegow, Charles Mgbolu and Dayo Yusuf.
    (Picture: People donating blood in Kenya. Credit: Getty Images)

    • 26 min
    Long Covid: solving the mysteries

    Long Covid: solving the mysteries

    Health Check discusses Long Covid with Nishi Chaturvedi, professor clinical epidemiology at University College London, and Dr Shamil Haroon, family doctor and public health researcher at the University of Birmingham. They’ve both begun big research projects on what Long Covid is, what causes it and how best to treat patients. We also hear from two people whose lives have transformed for the worse by the syndrome.

    Claudia talks to Professor Gagandeep Kang who has delivered a keynote talk at this week’s Commonwealth Science Conference. Her theme was how the world’s scientists were able to develop multiple coronavirus vaccines so quickly. She says the global health community were determined to learn the lessons from the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014 to 2016. Professor Kang is one of India’s leading vaccinologists, based at the Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory at the Christian Medical College in Vellore. Claudia also asks her about the latest coronavirus infection rate in India and why the mortality rate has been much lower there than in many other countries.

    Dr Ann Robinson is Claudia’s guest of the week, talking about the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, how research on Long Covid may benefit many more than those who have it, and a ketamine nasal spray for the treatment of severe depression.

    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker

    (Picture: Ill woman with purple face mask coughing, lying down and resting. Photo credit: Ruslan Dashinsky/Getty Images.)

    • 35 min
    Sexual health, Covid-19 vaccines

    Sexual health, Covid-19 vaccines

    We’re looking at a health issue that disproportionately affects black women - Uterine fibroids. These are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the womb. There is little research on what causes fibroids or how to prevent them.
    Azeezat Olaoluwa, BBC News Women’s Affairs journalist based in Lagos, has been investigating.

    And the findings from a small study in South Africa on a leading Covid-19 vaccine have led to questions over its effectiveness. This one offers the most promise for Africa as it doesn’t need to be kept at super low temperatures. There are still plans to roll out this vaccine across Africa, though South Africa is now looking for alternatives. Rhoda Odhiambo has been looking into what it all means.
    Presented by Priscilla Ngethe.

    • 26 min
    Covid surge in Mozambique

    Covid surge in Mozambique

    Claudia talks to Dr Lucia Chambal at the Central Hospital of Maputo in Mozambique. She is helping to coordinate the response of the country’s largest hospital to an ongoing surge in new Covid patients. In the last three weeks, they’ve had to create more than new 150 beds to accommodate these patients, including erecting large tents to act as Covid wards in the hospital grounds. Dr Chambal talks about the pressures, saying they’ve admitted many more patients since January than during the entire period between last March and December.

    A study at New York hospital has revealed the substantial benefits of giving mobilising physiotherapy to hospitalised Covid-19 patients. In the first months of the pandemic at the Montefiore Medical Center when patient numbers dramatically increased, some patients received physiotherapy while others didn’t because of a lack of PPE for therapists. Looking back at the fate of both groups of patients, the hospital has now found that the survival rate of those getting the therapy was twice that of those who didn’t. What makes that result particularly interesting is the people who were given physical therapy were on average older and more likely to have risky health conditions. Yet their chances of survival were higher because of the therapy.

    Is coconut oil an amazing superfood or an overhyped food fad? Africa Life Clinic’s Dayo Yusif reports from coconut heaven on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast.

    BBC Health and Science correspondent James Gallagher is Claudia’s studio guest, talking about evidence from Israel that the vaccination programme there is reducing the spread of the coronavirus in the population: whether the drug Budesonide in asthma inhalers prevents Covid illness development: and whether there is such a thing as a superfood.

    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker


    (Picture: A woman walks with her daughter in Maputo, Mozambique in February 2021. Photo credit: Alfredo Zuniga/AFP/Getty Images.)

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
79 Ratings

79 Ratings

Vix144 ,

Brilliant

Informative and interesting, recommended!

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?

Caza slim ,

Great podcast

Relevant and very interesting

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