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Malaria eradication within a generation?

Can the world be rid of malaria by 2050? Claudia Hammond quizzes Professor Richard Feachem, one of 41 international malaria experts behind the Lancet Commission proposals for the global eradication of malaria by the middle of the century. Is this a realistic goal and how much will cost?

Chemo-brain is the name given to the cluster of cognitive problems experienced by many people following chemotherapy. It is also known as cancer-related cognitive impairment. London’s Royal Marsden Hospital has started to offer help to patients suffering the lack of concentration and memories problems. Madeleine Finlay reports.

Women and children who have to fetch water far from their homes are at risk of variety of adverse health consequences. These are revealed in the first large study on this by public health researchers Jo Greeves and Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia. Childhood deaths are more likely in households where women have to leave the house for long periods to fetch water. These women are also less likely to give birth in clinics and access antenatal care.

Health editor of the Guardian newspaper, Sarah Boseley, joins Claudia to talk about malaria eradication, the fears around vaping in the USA and the different attitude to e-cigarettes in the UK, and taxes on cakes and biscuits to tackle obesity and diabetes.

(Photo caption: Anopheles Minimus mosquito sucking blood from a human - credit: Getty Images)

Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker

A tale of recovery from a former footballer

When ex-footballer Clarke Carlisle went missing in 2017 his wife Carrie thought the worst: he had severe depression and had already attempted to take his own life.

Found safely after appeals on social media, he then spent weeks in a psychiatric hospital and 18 months in therapy.

Clarke’s whole sense of identity was tied up with football and the buzz it gave him. He recalls how a knee injury at 21 made him feel like a failure, pushing him towards destructive behaviours with alcohol and marathon computer game sessions.

Carrie responds to the question sometimes asked by well-meaning people: How could he put you through this?

“Clarke didn’t put me through anything. This illness [severe depression] invades and puts all of you through it collectively.”

The Carlisles share their tips for recovery: asking for professional help; talking openly to their children about feelings; their daily marks-out-of-ten check-in; how much the Pixar film Inside Out teaches them and their family about emotional resilience.

(Photo caption: Presenter Claudia Hammond with former footballer and broadcaster Clarke Carlisle and his wife Carrie Carlisle – credit: BBC)

Health Check was presented by Claudia Hammond

Producer: Paula McGrath

When social media harms teen mental health

A new study finds that social media use in itself does not harm the mental health of young people. But if its frequent use erodes sleep, prevents physical activity and exposes teenage girls to cyberbullies, there is a significant risk of poor mental wellbeing. Psychiatrist Dr Dasha Nicholls of Imperial College School of Medicine explains the findings.

Nada Tawfik reports on the problems that disabled people face in getting good dental care in the United States. Many dentists refuse to have them on the books. A new centre at New York University of Dentistry provides special facilities to care for this group of patients and trains dental students not to fear and reject disabled clients.

Why has dengue fever exploded this year in SE Asia and caused Philippines to declare national epidemic? We talk to Dr Sophie Yacoub, Head of the Dengue Research Group at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam and Dr Gundo Weiler at the WHO in the Philippines.

BBC News correspondent James Gallagher joins Claudia in the studio to talk about Ebola now being regarded as a curable disease, an experimental vaccine against chlamydia, and why young men have trouble with eating enough fruit and vegetables.

(Photo caption: Girl reading her mobile phone under bedcovers – credit: Getty Images)

Health Check was presented by Claudia Hammond

Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker

Autism: the problems of fitting in

Many people with autistic spectrum disorder learn techniques to overcome their difficulties interacting with others. The first study that has looked at the consequences of these compensatory strategies reveals some benefits but also significant downsides. The consequences can be stress, low self-esteem, mental illness and misdiagnosis. Claudia talks to lead researcher Professor Francesca Happé from King’s College London and Eloise Stark, a woman with autism.

A new research programme at Imperial College London is investigating the link between obesity and infertility in men. Madeleine Finlay explores why weight gain and other factors of modern life might be influencing men’s sperm health.

Tick-borne Lyme disease is on the rise in the northern hemisphere. Lyme disease can develop into a serious illness. It is hard to diagnosis early and delayed diagnosis means lengthy treatment and recovery. Dr Mollie Jewett at the University of Central Florida is working on a much faster means of diagnosis, and a more effective treatment. Deborah Cohen meets Dr Jewett and her ticks.

Graham Easton is in the Health Check studio to talk about links between hearing loss and dementia, and the worrying spread of bacteria resistant to carbapenems, one of the most important kinds of antibiotic drugs.

(Photo caption: A young woman standing in the middle of a crowded street – credit: Getty Images)

Health Check was presented by Claudia Hammond with comments from Dr Graham Easton.

Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker

4 episodes