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Kill or Cure, Series 4
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1.

Mystery Ulcers

A mystery illness that destroys skin, muscle and even bone when it strikes:the Buruli ulcer can leave sufferers horribly disfigured. Scientists in Australia, where it was first recorded, are working on research to find out how it occurs and why outbreaks are so localized. They hope their research will help the tens of thousands of people who suffer from Buruli ulcers, particularly in Africa.
Online
2017; 2008
2.

The Silent Killer

High blood pressure is one of the world’s growing killers—especially in countries like China, where Western diets and a growing lack of exercise are beginning to take their toll. We travel to Beijing to join Professor Liu Lisheng and her team at Fuwai Hospital, where they are treating more and more people for high blood pressure. The program also visits Scotland, where high blood pressure has long been a huge public health issue.
Online
2017; 2008
3.

New Weapon Against Malaria

A chemical developed by China for use by the Vietcong in the Vietnam War to fight malaria is providing new hope for millions of malaria sufferers. The substance is called artemisinin, which is extracted from the ginghao plant. The plant is grown in vast quantities in China and could do much to fight malaria, particularly in Africa—like in Burkina Faso, where we meet the patients who will benefit, although the yield from the plant is too low, so generating quantities to meet demand could be tricky. This is where scientists at Edinburgh University in the U.K. come in. They have been developing a technique to engineer a variety of the plant with much higher yields.
Online
2017; 2008
4.

Tomorrow's Children

We travel to Poona, India, where the very latest rubella vaccines are under development, and we find out about the new methods of delivery and production. We filmed in the Dominican Republic in Central America, where congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) is a major cause of disabilities. It’s estimated that if rubella were brought under control in the Dominican Republic, it would save the country $65 million. Rubella appears as a mild rash, but when caught by a pregnant woman, it has devastating consequences on the unborn child. With CRS, the child can end up deaf, partially blind and with heart and brain defects. In many poorer, developing countries, CRS is a major problem.
Online
2017; 2008
5.

A Vaccine for Dengue

Dengue fever affects up to 100 million people every year, mainly children. It kills about 20,000—and they die from what is known as dengue shock syndrome. The hunt is now on for a vaccine. Sanofi pasteur and GSK, two of the biggest drug companies in the world, have been working on a dengue fever vaccine for some time. We go to Thailand and Vietnam to see what progress is being made.
Online
2017; 2008
6.

From the Heart

Strokes are a major public health issue in Europe and are among the leading causes of death and long-term disability in all developed countries. Urgent action is needed to address the dramatically increasing clinical, economic and social burden of stroke in Europe, but what can be done? We look at the causes and some possible solutions.
Online
2017; 2010
7.

The Deadly Trematodes

Trematodes are tiny parasites that live for years in the liver, the lungs and even the brains of at least 40 million people worldwide. We get infected by eating freshwater fish and shellfish—and it’s very hard to detect and cure. Millions of dollars a year are wasted on treating the wrong disease. We travel to Vietnam to see how this disease is easily transmitted, especially to children.
Online
2017; 2008
8.

A Woman's Disease

We see how easy-to-use field tests are being employed to hold back the spread of syphilis in Kosovo and trachoma in Tanzania. Both infections are caused by the same bacteria. In Tanzania it’s also regarded as a disease of the poorest of the poor and a disease especially of women and children. In Kosovo, a post-conflict country attempting to rebuild its future, there is a great need for much more education about syphilis—they don’t really have any proper infection rate statistics.
Online
2017; 2008
9.

The Race for a Vaccine

A vaccine for HIV:it’s the glittering prize of drug R&D. In 1992, the U.S. government promised a vaccine within two years. Despite 25 years of research, no one has found it. But in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, they may have made a breakthrough that they hope will lead to the Holy Grail of vaccines.
Online
2017; 2008
10.

Bittersweet

The world is facing a diabetes epidemic—with the disease linked to both genetic and lifestyle causes. India is set to become the diabetes capital of the world—with numbers set to double in a generation—while in Africa, efforts are still being made to deliver insulin some 90 years after it was discovered. We visit both India and Kenya to look at the problems and the solutions being offered.
Online
2017; 2010
11.

Battle for a Vaccine

We investigate why pneumococcal disease is a major global health problem, killing more than 800,000 children every year. In industrialized nations, a vaccine has dramatically reduced child deaths caused by the disease. Now scientists have tested a new vaccine that has been proven to work. It could save thousands of lives in the developing world. In this film we visit Alaska where doctors have been studying the impact of vaccination and India where the vaccine is desperately needed.
Online
2017; 2010
12.

Saving Lives

The developing world is soon set to get affordable vaccines and affordable drugs. A new international agreement is planning to fix the price of a drug or vaccine to make them affordable for some of the world’s poorest people. The agreement is between donors, drug companies and governments. Saving Lives travels to some of the countries where the agreement will make a massive impact, with the head of the organization promising such a radical reform. On the journey we find out whether the agreement is going to deliver on its promise, what the result will be, and how global health institutions and the big pharmaceutical companies managed to agree on such a deal.
Online
2017; 2009
13.

Invisible Lives

Globally there are 3.8 million newborn deaths in the first month of life. Over 40 percent of under-5 deaths are newborn deaths. So how can these numbers be reduced? We go to Malawi and Nepal, who share the same statistics on newborn survival, to find out what is being done.
Online
2017; 2010
14.

Tetanus: The Infant Curse

Every year thousands of babies die from a disease that strikes in the very first days or hours of life. Today tetanus affects only the world’s poorest and most remote communities—but it still claims the lives of about 150,000 babies every year. Poor hygiene and cultural traditions—like rubbing a mixture of soil and butter on a newly cut umbilical cord—gives the deadly bacteria the perfect opportunity to breed. We travel to Ethiopia where 14,000 babies die from tetanus every year.
Online
2017; 2008
15.

The Deadly Sleep

Sleeping sickness is one of the most deadly of the forgotten diseases. Experts thought it had been destroyed decades ago. But it’s back with a vengeance, and as we see in this documentary, mobile field teams are out in the African bush carrying out blood tests and lumbar punctures to beat the disease. Even so, for many of its victims, the drugs used to treat the disease are fatal in up to 10 percent of cases.
Online
2017; 2008
16.

Preparing for the Pandemic

The world stands on the edge of a flu pandemic, according to the world’s leading experts. The results, they predict, will be catastrophic. Millions of deaths, economies and civil society in chaos, political life undermined or destroyed. A doomsday scenario! Such outbreaks happen two or three times every hundred years. We are due one now—and the avian flu strain H5N1 is the most likely candidate for a future pandemic. The last catastrophic flu pandemic was in 1918, just after World War I. No one really knows, but it’s estimated it killed between 50 and 100 million people—more than twice as many as had died in the war itself. H1N1 is the strain responsible for this worst epidemic in recorded history. Almost a century later, H5N1—an avian flu strain—could do exactly the same thing. The [...]
Online
2017; 2008
17.

The Real Lady Killers

In the developing world it’s the leading cause of female cancer deaths: it’s cervical cancer, and it kills more than half a million women every year—mostly in poor countries. New low-tech screening programs have begun to reduce cancer deaths, but campaigners like Sarah Nyombi, a politician in Uganda, wants to see more.She’s trying to get a brand new vaccine, widely used in the developed world. The trouble is, it costs $300 a shot—way beyond Uganda’s health budget. We follow her journey as she tries to find solutions in the battle against "the real lady killer."
Online
2017; 2009
18.

Fighting Syphilis

Syphilis was thought to have been beaten by mass penicillin treatment in the 1950s and 1960s. Now it’s back, particularly among the rural populations of places like Haiti—which medical experts believe is where the disease started in the first place. The theory goes that Christopher Columbus’ crew brought the disease back to Europe. Now, special mobile testing units are being used to tackle the disease, and with great success.
Online
2017; 2008
19.

Taking Fakes

The business of fake medicines and counterfeit drugsis said to be worth $75 billion a year. Developed-world health systems have been targeted, but life-saving drugs in the developing world are now being faked—with fatal results. We gained exclusive access to international counterfeit drug investigators to see the extent of the billion-dollar trade.
Online
2017; 2010
20.

A New Lease on Life

The "bête noire" of Big Pharma is making a comeback—this time as a treatment for blood cancers. Thalidomide is the drug best known for causing deformities in thousands of children in Europe and the U.S., but in May 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved thalidomide for use in combination with another drug, dexamethasone, to treat newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Other stage 3 trials should soon lead to new licenses for more cancers. Drug dosage is the key issue. We film with Paul Nichols at the New York marathon. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and entered the Revlimid trial in January 2006. He has been in full remission since then and now takes the drug on a monthly prescription. For Paul, thalidomide is a miracle drug.
Online
2017; 2008