97 episodes

Health issues and medical breakthroughs from around the world.

Health Check BBC World Service

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.7 • 69 Ratings

Health issues and medical breakthroughs from around the world.

    Poor Covid immunity after Omicron

    Poor Covid immunity after Omicron

    New research reveals a poor immunity boost after infection with the Omicron variant. Might this explain why getting Covid again has been more common with this wave? BBC News health reporter, Smitha Mundasad unpicks the data. And the first World Health Organisation mental health report in two decades calls for change. Dévora Kestel, Director of WHO’s Mental Health and Substance Use Department joins Claudia Hammond to discuss the findings. Plus Professor Russell Foster on why looking after our body clocks can help with a good night's sleep.

    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Erika Wright

    (Picture: Covid-19 Omicron illustration. Photo credit: Sakchai Vongsasiripat/Getty Images.)

    • 26 min
    Next generation Covid vaccines

    Next generation Covid vaccines

    News about new next generation Covid vaccines that target specific variants is discussed with studio guest, Dr Ann Robinson. Professor Russell Foster talks to Claudia about the science of circadian rhythms and how taking more notice of our body clocks could help us live healthier lives. Plus anaesthetist Dr Niek Sperna Weiland explains why the inhaled gases used to put us to sleep during operations can be so damaging to the environment. And how our eyes are a window into the health of our hearts.

    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Erika Wright

    (Image: A healthcare worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 Vaccine. Image credit: Morsa Images / Getty Images)

    • 27 min
    What brain scans tell us

    What brain scans tell us

    Brain scans can reveal new ways to diagnose and potentially treat psychiatric, psychological and neurological conditions. But why has the promise been so slow to turn into reality? Claudia Hammond is joined by Sophie Scott, Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and also by neuroscientist Scott Marek of Washington University in St Louis.

    Plus one year on since fluoride toothpaste was added to the World Health Organisation's essential medicines list, Charles Mgbolu reports from Lagos about a market flooded with non-fluoridated toothpaste amid continued oral health concerns.

    And shocking results showing a global shortage of 43 million medical staff are discussed with study lead author Professor Rafael-Lozano.

    Plus studio guest family doctor Ann Robinson says there’s good news about new evidence for treating Crohn’s disease.

    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Erika Wright

    (Picture: A patient in MRI scanner with a nurse explaining the scan. Photo credit: ER Productions Limited/Getty Images.)

    • 26 min
    Monkeypox misinformation and stigma

    Monkeypox misinformation and stigma

    Claudia discusses concerns about monkeypox misinformation and stigma with Andy Seale, Senior Strategic Advisor, department of HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections at the World Health Organisation.

    How psychologists are trialling a radio drama for tackling external and domestic insurgent attacks in Burkina Faso. Associate Professor Rezarta Bilali explains why the drama was needed.

    Plus Claudia hears of a new study on whether growing up in a city, town or countryside might impact our navigation skills, and visits the Chelsea Flower Show in London to examine the evidence for how much of an effect gardening might have on a person’s mental health.

    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Erika Wright

    (Picture: Monkeypox virus. Photo credit: Kontekbrothers/Getty Images.)

    • 26 min
    Monkeypox in central Africa

    Monkeypox in central Africa

    Monkeypox is spreading in more than 20 countries where previously it has not been seen, but BBC Health reporter Smitha Mundasad explains that this is not a new disease.

    Presenter Claudia Hammond hears of an outbreak of a more serious strain in an area of the Democratic Republic of Congo that has no experience of Monkeypox. Professor Wim van Damme got in touch about his research trip to Maniema, a rural DRC province with more than 500 cases and 50 deaths. Plus, professor of virology Penny Moore discusses Covid variants in South Africa. Might waves of the virus be more predictable as surges appear to be settling into a six-monthly pattern? And a helpful new study on creams for childhood eczema.

    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Erika Wright

    Photo copyright: Professor Wim van Damme

    • 26 min
    Healthcare provision in North Korea

    Healthcare provision in North Korea

    Reports from North Korea have suggested a scarcity of data on healthcare provision but Claudia hears from Professor Hazel Smith who has researched North Korea for over thirty years that there is good information about health services.

    And do doctors have a professional duty to be kind? The General Medical Council in the UK are consulting on whether to require doctors to ‘treat patients with kindness’ and some have not taken kindly to the idea. Louella Vaughan, a hospital consultant in acute medicine and family doctor Ann Robinson debate the issues.

    Plus Claudia’s studio guest today is Graham Easton, Professor of Clinical Communication skills at Queen Mary, University of London.

    Presenter: Claudia Hammond
    Producer: Erika Wright

    (Picture: Pedestrians walk past cherry blossom trees near the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang in April 2022. Photo credit: Kim Won Jin/AFP/Getty Images.)

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
69 Ratings

69 Ratings

incognito82 ,

Great show

I love it

dettifoss ,

The world's health briefing

The podcast is very professionally presented, with reports on issues in world health - literally tackling issues and bringing news from every corner of the globe - followed by a studio discussion with a healthcare professional (usually a doctor, but occasionally a journalist specializing in health).
Note: this is serious journalism, not faddy health infotainment.
I am a better person for listening to Health Check: more knowledgeable and more thoughtful.

minarcik ,

Highly recommended

Claudia Hammond, you rock! Thank you for the awesome podcast :)

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