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The BBC World Service's weekly round up of global health stories and topical issues in medicine.




Sleep Disorders Link to Premature Birth

Women who suffer from sleep disorders are at increased risk of delivering their baby early. Although half of pregnant women have problems sleeping, the study carried out by the University of California, San Francisco focused on those with serious sleep disorders. The mechanism behind the link isn’t yet known – but the researchers say that women with serious sleep problems should seek help from their doctor. Yazidi women have been singled out by so-called Islamic State militants for...

Duration: 00:26:29

Health Corruption

Health corruption is hidden, but can happen anywhere from the smallest, remote clinic to the billion dollar health systems, from low income countries to the richest places in the world. Tim Mackey, Director of Global Health at University of California San Diego explains the impact is has on patients and how it can be challenged. We’ve all heard of the term “a broken heart” to describe the terrible sadness we feel after the loss of a loved one. Until recently it’s been thought of as just a...

Duration: 00:26:34

Worrying Signs of Disease in American Footballers’ Brains

High-impact collisions are all part of the game for American footballers. But new research has found a worrying amount of disease in footballers’ donated brains – similar to changes found in Alzheimer’s disease. Jesse Mez, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Boston University, was shocked by the widespread presence of tangles of tau proteins, which signal the progressive brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Ayahuasca is said to be the strongest psychedelic drug in the world. A...

Duration: 00:26:44

Could Injections Revolutionise HIV Care?

Could future of treatments for HIV be revolutionised by an injection? HIV/Aids researchers from around the world have been meeting in Paris this week. Anti-retroviral drugs have transformed HIV into a manageable long-term condition. But taking the medication for a lifetime could involve up to 20,000 tablets. So Professor Joe Eron and colleagues from the United States tested an injectable, slow-acting form of the medication, which releases over one month or two. The jab performed as well as...

Duration: 00:26:43

Profound Psychological Impact of Heart Failure

Heart Failure This serious condition – where the heart can no longer pump sufficient blood around the body - affects 26 million people around the world. Symptoms can include breathlessness, fluid retention and tiredness - enough to have a severe impact on the quality of life. A heart failure diagnosis can be frightening and stressful but there is good evidence that psychological support can help. Claudia Hammond hears from patients and medical staff about the challenges of dealing with the...

Duration: 00:26:55

The Game Encouraging Medics to not use Jargon

When you visit the doctor how much do you understand what’s being said? Communicating complex medical information – especially to sick children – can be a challenge for medical staff. Now a game called Dr Jargon has been created to encourage doctors to use simple language to explain common complaints to patients. The scientist who’s designed a way to “sniff out” polio viruses in the Israeli sewage system. For a number of years the world has been on the verge of eradicating the disease...

Duration: 00:26:46

Who is Best Suited to a Move to the Red Planet?

As we dream of sending humans to Mars, the psychological problems of such a mission loom large. Claudia Hammond ponders the most important qualities required from those who’d like to colonise Mars. Surviving a cramped nine-month journey and the pod-like homes on the red planet requires a mix of resilience, curiosity and the ability to get on with others. She meets the volunteers who have been sampling similar long term simulations here on earth - and the psychologists who've overseen the...

Duration: 00:26:38

Can Gas Stoves Cut Indoor Air Pollution?

Around the world more than 3 billion people cook and heat their homes using fuel like wood and charcoal on open fires or traditional stoves. This inefficient method produces lots of smoke – creating indoor air pollution. The World Health Organisation says indoor pollution kills more than 4 million people every year. Our reporter Sammy Darko has been to the village of Kintampo in central Ghana where researchers provided cleaner gas stoves to see if they improved the health of pregnant women...

Duration: 00:26:35