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Mutating toward mildness: How Omicron’s changes make it less deadly

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The Omicron variant spreads rapidly causing surges in infections. But it doesn’t seem to be causing more severe cases. Still, there’s a need for caution as higher case numbers means more hospitalisations. Here’s what we know so far.

The secret is in your cells: How the body can protect you from getting...

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Omicron is the most mutated form of SARS-CoV-2 that the world has seen. These changes allow it to spread faster and outsmart your body’s natural defences. But the immune system has some tricks up its sleeve that help protect you from getting severely ill.

‘Tis the season for a new variant: Your introduction to how quickly Omicron is...

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The Omicron variant was identified in South Africa at the end of November and has quickly begun to dominate new infections in the country. Here’s what the data tells us so far about how quickly Omicron spreads — but truly understanding the variant will take more time.

Have questions about Bhekisisa? Here’s an FAQ

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Bhekisisa accepts funding from philanthropists and other donors. Our contracts with donors include clauses that prevent them from interfering in the Centre’s editorial independence.

Bhekisisa wrapped: Our greatest hits from 2021

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As the second year of coronavirus pandemic reporting draws to a close, the Bhekisisa team takes a look back at their favourite stories of the past twelve months.

The joke’s on us, South Africa. The cruel logic of Omicron travel bans –...

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Wealthy nations were quick to ban southern African nations from entering their borders when the Omicron variant was identified – but not against each other. Unfortunately, this type of discrimination is nothing new.

Your A to Z guide on HIV: The top 10 things to know from...

The HIV pandemic isn’t going anywhere until a cure is found. In the meantime, these expert HIV clinicians say South Africa should protect its victories.

Table talk: This deal could get vaccines to poorer countries fast. Guess who’s blocking...

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Powerful governments, including the European Union and the UK, are resisting a proposed deal that could enable companies in less developed countries to legally manufacture COVID products developed by large pharmaceutical companies.

Bhekisisa wins the 2021 Reconciliation Award for its role in reporting on the COVID...

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The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism was awarded the 2021 Reconciliation Award from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. This award recognises the work our team has done over the past year to cover the COVID pandemic and the role our organisation has played in advancing healthcare solutions through reporting on health and social justice issues across Africa.

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

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

The ABCs of DIY vaccines: Why tech transfer is a big thing

Africa’s reliance on companies outside the continent can be turned around in time for the next health crisis. A new World Health Organisation initiative will make this happen by helping nations make jabs without slogging through the trial and error of developing a new vaccine.

Vacancy: News editor, Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism

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Do you have seven years or more experience in writing and editing evidence-based health and social justice analysis for the news media or publishing industry? Are you passionate about mentoring journalists and op-ed writers? Then this position might be just for you. 

Vacancy: Health reporter, Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism

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producing regular policy and news analysis. Are you passionate about health journalism? This position might be just for you. Application deadline: 16 January 2022

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.

Mostly men: Why they die young

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Women’s mortality rates have been on the decline since 1950. But progress for men has been much slower. Here’s why lack of action among policymakers has led to trailing improvements in deaths among young men aged 10 to 24 years old.

Put a label on it — or not. How to get South Africans to...

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Europe tried putting clearer labels on food to get people eating healthier. But the same approach won’t work in South Africa. Here’s how to get people away from processed food and find healthier, affordable alternatives.