Virtually every child in the world, rich or poor, is infected early in life by a vicious bug called rotavirus. The lucky ones show no symptoms—they simply become immune. Others develop severe diarrhea.
Given the best medicine, the victims recover. However, in developing countries, where even simple rehydration therapy may be hard to come by, rotavirus is lethal, killing around 400,000 children every year.
At least three vaccines against rotavirus are now on the way. The first could win approval later this year, but it will be marketed in the West, where the disease is seldom fatal, and at a price far out of reach of the people who most need it.
This film travels to southern Sudan, where diarrhea is killing hundreds of children every month, and to India, which, rather than wait for help from the West, is developing its own rotavirus vaccine.
This film is part of the KILL OR CURE series of 57 x 25-minute documentaries produced for the BBC. These films can be bought individually or as a series.