BBC World Service

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Health issues and medical breakthroughs from around the world.


Women with Microcephaly Babies Being Abandoned

February 10th, 2016

Episode 73 of 158 episodes

Zika is still something of a medical mystery, but the social consequences are already being strongly felt in Brazil. Perhaps not surprisingly when there are so many unknowns, there is a lot of fear present and consequently many false rumours and conspiracy theories are spreading around, creating panic within some of the population. Another emotional response is that some women who have given birth to babies with microcephaly are being abandoned by their husbands. BBC producer Camilla Costa has been to Recife in the Northeast of Brazil, the part of the country worst affected by the Zika virus. Child Mental Health Uganda Uganda is a country of children; 52 % of the population is below 15. Mental health constitutes 0.7% of health spending, but the mental health needs of children largely go unmet. Furthermore, being a Ugandan child with a mental illness means facing unimaginable stigma, and often outright rejection from their communities and family. Failure to recognise and treat psychiatric problems in children has severe and irreversible consequences for their education, relationships, emotional and psychological development, so development of child and adolescent mental health services is now a World Health Organization priority for sub-Saharan Africa. But with just one adult psychiatrist for every million people in Uganda, the evolution of specialist children’s services is a recent development. The BBC’s Emma Gilbert reports. Gender vs. Biological sex Do you take more of a traditionally feminine or masculine role in life; running a household and caring for children or older people, or working all hours? Or maybe a combination of both? Intriguing new research from McGill University conducted in Canada, the US and Switzerland has found that gender identity is more important than biological sex in predicting health outcomes after a first heart attack under the age of 55. Senior author of the paper Louise Pilote is professor of medicine at McGill University and director of the General Internal Medicine division at McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). (Photo: Ana Paula Santos holds her 45-day-old daughter Flavia Alessandra suffering from microcephalia, in Salvador, Brazil. Credit: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

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