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28 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 29 March 2010

President Obama has finally signed his landmark healthcare bill. The new law is set to extend health insurance to cover 32 million Americans who had no coverage before. As many as 18,000 Americans were dying prematurely every year because they didn’t have health insurance, so how will his reforms change those figures? Joanna Silberner, health correspondent at NPR discusses what difference the new law will actually make for people and when they will happen.

Last year 60 million people in the world died, but no one knows what more than half of them died from because their deaths weren’t officially recorded. This leaves major gaps for doctors trying to understand and improve global health. Professor Prabhat Jha from the University of Toronto explains why understanding the reasons for why people die can improve public health.

Tuberculosis is one of the world's oldest diseases. It's been so good at surviving through the millennia that today one third of the world's population carries it. As certain strains begin to develop resistance against the commonly-used drugs the hunt is on for a new treatment – a hunt that has taken more than thirty years without success. Angela Saini reports from India - which has a fifth of the world's TB cases – on how a new online project is hoping that by pooling the knowledge of the world’s best scientists they might come up with the answer.


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