BBC World Service

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Health issues and medical breakthroughs from around the world.


Women being Pinched and Slapped during Childbirth

July 8th, 2015

Episode 41 of 158 episodes

According to a new report just published in PLOS medicine, based on studies from 34 different countries, widespread mistreatment of women during childbirth is taking place around the world. For instance women are being pinched and slapped or experience other problems such as a lack of privacy or autonomy over the pain medication they are given. The author Meghan Bohren is a research consultant at the World Health Organisation. Sleeping sickness Uganda 60 million people across sub-Saharan Africa are at risk of getting sleeping sickness. It is spread by tsetse flies and in its early stages the infection is difficult to diagnose but easy to treat. Later, after the tell-tale fatigue and confusion has struck, it is much harder to deal with. Left untreated, it is fatal. So researchers are trying to eradicate the insect which spreads the disease and luckily for them, they have found something which the tsetse flies find irresistible; the colour blue. Maryam Abdalla reports from Arua in northern Uganda. Sleep and trauma As well as allowing the body and the mind to recuperate, sleep plays a part in allowing us to consolidate our memories, particularly emotional ones. However after a traumatic event, we might wish we could remember what happened without the feelings of terror or panic that might accompany it. So researchers at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences had an idea; what would happen if you showed people something traumatic and then stopped them going to sleep in order to disrupt the way people feel about their memories? Could this help prevent post-traumatic stress disorder? Dr Kate Porcheret is one of the co-authors of the study, which has just been published in the journal Sleep. Picture: Pregnant woman. Credit: Getty Images

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