Each week The Pulse showcases topical stories from around the world and from laboratories working on new cures, vaccines and treatments.

Disproportionate funding?

Every year we spend about ten million dollars researching and treating Malaria, TB and HIV/Aids, yet nearly half of all human illness and misery is caused by diseases which are easily treatable, but for which there is little funding. Diverting a tiny proportion of the money spent on the "big three" would go a huge way towards eliminating illness and improving the economies of developing countries.

It is a debate that is causing increasing tension between the Big 3 and Neglected Diseases camps – especially as the later gain increasingly widespread support.

We investigate some of these neglected diseases, and talk to Mary Moran and Jeffrey Sachs about just how effective spending patterns in the pharmalogical world are.

Trachoma

Tanzanian children being checked for trachoma
The Pulse then looks at a new simple test on trial in Tanzania to detect trachoma, one of the world's leading causes of blindness.

The latest test can be used in the field without the need for a laboratory.

The infection is easily treated with an antibiotic, but because of difficulties detecting it it has continued to spread.

The first episode of The Pulse airs from October 29, 2007 at the following times GMT:

Monday: 06:30, 14:30
Tuesday: 11:30
Wednesday: 06:00, 20:30
Thursday: 03:00, 07:30
Friday: 02:30, 13:30
Saturday: 01:30, 17:30
Sunday: 04:30, 19:00


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