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

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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.

A torchlight tragedy: Inside a Joburg emergency room during loadshedding

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In July, loadshedding left Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital without a CT scanner, a piece of equipment that could have helped a patient who had suffered a serious brain injury.

This three-legged potjie doesn’t wobble. NHI lessons for deep rural South Africa

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For years, this mother in the rural Eastern Cape had to travel across a river and walk for two hours to get to a clinic. Then, her community teamed up with a nonprofit and the provincial health department to change that. These days, the furthest she has to walk to get her newborn to a nurse is five minutes.

This three-legged potjie doesn’t wobble. NHI lessons for deep rural South Africa

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For years, this mother in the rural Eastern Cape had to travel across a river and walk for two hours to get to a clinic. Then, her community teamed up with a nonprofit and the provincial health department to change that. These days, the furthest she has to walk to get her newborn to a nurse is five minutes.

The science of sequencing: How Africa is preparing for future pandemics

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Africa is building up a genomic surveillance network of 12 regional hubs that will help the continent to prepare for future pandemics.

The Pfizer palpitations: What exactly are the risks to teens’ hearts from this COVID...

As South Africa’s teenagers line up to get their Pfizer COVID jab, many parents are concerned about the possible risk of heart inflammation. We break down the numbers behind this extremely rare side effect and why it shouldn’t deter teens from getting a shot.

The sugar tax is working. Now double it

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While the world focuses its attention on COVID-19, there is another illness draining the health system’s resources – diabetes. The cost of diabetes-related blindness and kidney failures is being overlooked too, these health advocates say.

Cash for COVID: Why this controversial trial is asking people to voluntarily get infected

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People who participate in a challenge trial volunteer to get sick in order to help scientists learn more about a disease. These studies have been used for diseases like cholera and malaria — and now for COVID-19.

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. Nine months into the pandemic, Europe remains one of...

‘No bed for people like me’: When the old are left to die

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Despite clear evidence they are most at risk, older people are seen as dispensable as younger patients are prioritised in the fight against COVID-19...

Africa’s COVID-19 coronavirus research must be tailored to its realities – by its own...

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Trust is essential in the pandemic and scientists here can set the priorities that make the most sense for our people. COMMENT Research to find a...

What do coronavirus and Ebola have in common? They always get a head start

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A passenger wearing a protective mask enters Beijing West railway station following the outbreak of coronavirus. (Nicolas Asfouri, Getty)
Ebola healthcare worker protective gear

The world finally has an Ebola vaccine. This is why it’s not enough

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The World Health Organisation prequalified Merck's vaccine for widespread use in November but regulatory hoops are just a small part of the fight to...

‘Most renewable energy companies’ linked with claims of abuses in mines

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Corporate watchdog urges clean-up of supply chains as analysis finds weak regulation and enforcement has led to lack of scrutiny. Most of the world’s top...
Zambia Kabwe

Lead in the blood: The poisoning of a generation

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By 1927, Anglo American had obtained a controlling interest in a decades’ old lead mine north of Lusaka. Today, the mine may be closed,...
A man looks out over a newly cleared area of forest at Kahuzi-Biéga national park near Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Kate Holt, The Guardian)

Pandas or people? When the fight to save the planet pits conservation against indigenous...

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A deadly conflict simmers between the autochthon people forced out of Kahuzi-Biéga national park, and the rangers protecting the land. On a scarred hillside on...