Soap Operas With a Mission: how radio drama is delivering health over the airwaves. Tim Cooper from the BBC World Service Trust and Felicity Finch, who stars in the world’s longest running soap opera, The Archers on BBC radio in the UK, discuss how and when powerful storylines can successfully change behaviour and save lives.

Pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith Kline has announced that they will allow open access to the thousands of the compounds they hold that are linked to the Malaria parasite. Dr Mogha Kamal Yanni from Oxfam welcomes the company’s steps on neglected diseases but tells Health Check GSK can still do more.

Post 9/11, toxins like Anthrax, Ricin and Botox have been very closely regulated. Scientists around the world have to undergo strict checks before they can work with them and other potentially dangerous pathogens. But now there are claims that the restrictions are too rigorous, preventing vital work on vaccines. Arturo Casadevall, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York tells Claudia Hammond why the Select Agent and Toxins List in the USA needs to be reduced and rules relaxed.

Last week’s solar eclipse in India caused great excitement because it was the first time since 1965 that the country had experienced a full annular eclipse. But as well as causing excitement, it also caused great anxiety, because there is a widespread belief that solar eclipses are dangerous if you’re pregnant. Nivedita Pathak from New Delhi describes how women expecting babies stayed in their homes during the eclipse and tells the story of the gynaecologist who went to the cinema, because he knew his patients would be staying indoors!

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Sun 31 Jan 2010 22:32 GMT

Zika: a new pandemic?

Zika virus emerggency talks

The explosive spread and impact of the mosquito-borne virus.