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Health issues and medical breakthroughs from around the world.


Plants to Treat Malaria

June 17th, 2015

Episode 38 of 158 episodes

Extracts of the Mexican poppy found in Mali can treat malaria. Dr Merlin Willcox, a clinical researcher from Oxford University, visited communities in Mali to see how healers are using local plants to treat disease. He found that the Mexican poppy has some active ingredients that can treat malaria in some ways as effectively as current medicines. He told Claudia Hammond about how he went about this process of reverse pharmacology. Iron Fish Fights Anaemia In Cambodia iron deficiency affects as many as half of all women and children, but supplements can be hard to get hold of and can have unpleasant side effects. Nick Wood reports on how some families are using a piece of iron, 8cm long and shaped like a fish, to improve their nutrition and prevent anaemia. They just drop it into their cooking pots. Professor Imelda Bates of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine explains why anaemia is detrimental to health and how the iron fish idea could be adapted for other cultures. How Many Drugs are Fake? Research just published in PloS One and conducted by Dr Harparkash Kaur, a pharmacologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has shown that in parts of Nigeria there are fewer fake drugs than was feared, but more sub standard ones, which bring their own risks. Dr Kaur tells Claudia how they carried out their research. (Photo: Argemone mexicana. Credit: Bruno Navez)

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