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How to get meds to Africa faster — and safer

South Africa’s medicines regulator is helping to process pharmaceutical companies’ applications for medicines to be approved by the African Medicines Agency. But the country won’t have a say in the appointment of the agency’s head because it hasn’t yet ratified the treaty for its establishment.

The walking dead: Why it’s dangerous to walk, talk and text

Walking on the road in Accra can be dangerous, say researchers. Using a cellphone while doing so can up the chance for an accident even more. Here’s what a study found should be done to keep pedestrians safe.
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Inequality didn’t rise from hell: It’s man-made — and there’s nothing like a pandemic...

Why do pandemics such as Aids not automatically end when we have the medicine to control them? Because they play out in a world where inequality frequently prevents drugs from reaching the people who need it most, writes Mia Malan.

‘Retirement will come the day I’m buried’: Côte d’Ivoire grandmothers are left holding the...

For grandmothers across Côte d’Ivoire, climate change has had unexpected consequences. Once abundant with crop life, sustenance farming has become an unpredictable nightmare in the country’s villages. Young people of working age are now leaving villages in droves — without their children.

[ICYMI] What Africa’s journalists should do differently in the next pandemic – Bhekisisa/Pulitzer Centre...

In collaboration with the Pulitzer Centre, Bhekisisa is hosting a webinar for African journalists on 29 March focusing on the role the media can play to increase the uptake of life-saving medicines.
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What reduces child marriage and poverty? Ask Zimbabwe’s young chess queens

In the small rural town of Chivhu, Zimbabwe, 10-year-old Grace Zvarebwa is training for a pan-African schools chess tournament in Liberia. Chess is an activity normally reserved for the country’s elite schools, but the sport has transformed the lives of rural school girls like Zvarebwa.
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Inside SA’s mRNA hub: What it looks like and how it works

Afrigen Biologics, a Cape Town pharmaceutical company, has made Africa’s first COVID jab as part of the World Health Organisation’s mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub. How did they do it and what’s next?

‘We take the fish out of the water’: Three myths about vasectomies – busted

A vasectomy is a permanent form of contraception for men. During this surgical procedure, the tubes that take sperm from the testicles to the glands that make semen are cut — in about the time of a lunch break.

Disorganised documents: How bad record keeping will set back the NHI

The majority of South Africa’s public hospitals have a problem with tracking the costs of patient care, this study found. This poses a problem for the country’s plans for a National Health Insurance as hospitals could operate at a loss and face reimbursement challenges.

An inconvenient truth: The real reason why Africa is not getting vaccinated

Pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer have said low vaccine uptake in Africa is due to increasing hesitancy on the continent. But the truth is inequitable distribution of COVID vaccines have left Africa as a vaccine desert.

The role of regulators — Why South Africa hasn’t approved Sputnik V yet

Russia’s Sputnik V COVID vaccine has yet to be approved by any stringent regulators. Part of the problem: the manufacturer’s reluctance to share information about the jab. Here’s what it takes for a vaccine to make it through regulatory bodies and how Sputnik got around the process in some countries.
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How rare is very rare? Your questions about blood clots – answered

Vaccines will only be registered for use in South Africa if their common side-effects are mild. To qualify as a “very rare” side-effect, the symptom needs to affect fewer than one in 10 000 people. Here’s why.

Streets (not) made for walking: How poor urban planning in African cities exacerbates inequality

We’re all aware of the health benefits of walking. But for many of Africa’s urban populations who are forced to walk because of poor development planning, walking is not a leisure activity – it’s an indicator of inequality.
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[EXCLUSIVE] Little vials, big crime: Criminals primed for onslaught on Africa’s vaccines

COVID vaccines have become one of the most sought after commodities in the world, but manufacturers simply can’t produce enough jabs for everyone who needs them. Bhekisisa investigates what this means for the emergence of a vaccine black market, as well as vaccine theft and falsification.

What developing countries can teach the Global North about how to respond to a...

When it comes to leadership and innovation, there's much that industrialised nations can learn.

The preventable trauma of COVID childbirth

A new global investigation has documented, in at least 45 countries, “shocking” and “unnecessary” breaches of laws and World Health Organisation guidelines intended to protect women and babies during the pandemic.