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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

BBC World News

The Health Show: BBC World News Explores the World of Global Health

Thursday 21 July, 2011. BBC World News will broadcast a new weekly magazine programme, The Health Show starting on 23 July 2011 . The 26 part series will cover a range of important global health issues.

The series will report from around the world and focus on regions where people are vulnerable to specific health issues. It will examine the latest scientific and technological advances, as well as explore new medical insights into the biggest health challenges and dilemmas.

Hosted by presenters Dr Ayan Panja and Dr Shini Somara , the series will broadcast weekly on Saturdays and Sundays. Somara and Panja will introduce a series of short films from around the world, speak to key players in global health and explore the most important and intriguing new medical devices and innovations.

Emma De'Ath , Commissioning Editor, BBC World News says, “Health is an area that we know our global audience wants more of, so we're really excited to have this new weekly show coming to the World News Channel. The team will be actively seeking the audience's response to these health stories which have global relevance and offer a window into the future of medicine”

Episode One - 23 July 2011

New circumcision device

The lead story in the first episode is male circumcision; the team visits Rwanda where the government wants to circumcise two million men by the end of 2012. Circumcision reduces the chances of men being infected with HIV by sixty per cent.* The show examines a new device that offers a bloodless method of circumcision that doesn't require anaesthetics or sterile environments.

Ultra Sound Surgery

A focus on how doctors in Oxford are testing technology developed in China to destroy cancerous tumours using non-invasive ultrasound rather than perform surgery.

Health Show “soap”

Over the course of the series The Health Show will base itself at a health institution in different parts of the world to produce a series of fly on the wall films. The first soap is with an organisation in Lesotho in Southern Africa which provides transport for health workers. Each year millions of people die from easily preventable diseases because health workers do not have reliable transport. The film follows a nurse on his journey by motorbike on snow covered mountain tracks to meet his patients.


Dr Ayan Panja is a practicing family doctor in the UK . Hailing from a medical background, he attended the Imperial College School of Medicine, qualifying with his medical degree in 1999. After this he worked in various hospital posts including obstetrics, emergency medicine, and paediatrics before becoming a GP. He has clinical interests in men's health, illness prevention, psychology and medicine and nutrition. He has been a medical expert on radio, TV and in print for several years for both the BBC and other outlets. He comments “There are very few issues more important than global health, and I am genuinely excited about being involved in a show which looks at health issues from around the world, something that I have been keen to do for some time now.”

Dr Shini Somara has a passion for transforming the world of science into television. For several years she has worked in front of and behind the camera to communicate technology and scientific theory to the general public. Shini has a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering and was an engineer for eight years before pursuing a career in television. Shini says, “Few things in life are more important than health, so I'm delighted to be able to report on its latest advancements from around the world”.

Further programme information can be found at the website , and audiences can follow The Health Show on and twitter @healthshow.

The Health Show airs on BBC World News on Saturdays at 10:10 and 20:10, and Sundays at 07:10 and 23:10 (all times GMT).

The Health Show is supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

* Weiss, Helen, ‘ Male circumcision for HIV prevention: from evidence to action ? ', AIDS: 12 March 2008, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp. 567-574.

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