More and more drug-resistant strains of Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria (Hib) have emerged in recent years, and the consequences of late or no treatment are devastating.
The microbe is estimated to cause at least 3 million cases of serious disease — often meningitis — and up to 700,000 deaths each year among young children.
This program examines the tragic problem in Bangladesh, where the Dhaka Shishu Hospital is nearly overrun with young Hib patients, and in Gambia, where a vaccination trial is offering a glimmer of hope for Hib-endemic regions.
The Bangladesh scenes illustrate the challenges of culturing and analyzing the Hib organism, which frequently leads to a misdiagnosis.
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.