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The cost of caring: Zithulele’s Ben Gaunt, one year later

In 2022, after a decade of service, Ben Gaunt, who led a team who transformed Zithulele Hospital in the Eastern Cape from a struggling public health facility into a poster child of excellence, left the facility. The drama, which followed the appointment of a controversial CEO, was well publicised. We spoke to Gaunt one year later.

What goes into your medical aid premium — and what it means for the...

Pooling funds to cover people’s medical bills makes sense — but only if the funds are managed well. Here’s what actuaries and economists look at when calculating your monthly premium — and what it could mean for the proposed National Health Insurance plan.

Dying for a souvlaki: How climate change fuels inequality

This July, Greek islands were far from idyllic. In fact, people working in the tourism industry there say it was hell. With raging wildfires and surging temperatures, the effects of climate change are hitting home.

NHI: The problem with trying to kill two birds with one stone

The National Health Insurance scheme aims to solve two problems — fixing poorly-run health facilities and distributing the money available for healthcare in the country in a more equitable way — simultaneously. But trying to fix two things at once may make things worse, writes Dave Martin.

[VIDEO] Why this community is fed up with pollution in the Vaal River

The Emfuleni local municipality needs over R600-million to fix its broken wastewater plants. An activist in one township worries that cholera may spread because people can’t afford the soap needed to stay safe. In this Health Beat episode, we take you to Bophelong, a township south of Johannesburg, and show you what dirty water does to people's health.

#ToiletPaperPromises: Why Limpopo’s schools still have pit toilets

Nine years after a Grade R learner, Michael Komape, drowned in a pit toilet at his school in Limpopo, 2 334 schools in the province still have these structures on their premises. Here are the hits and misses of the education department’s efforts to get rid of them since — and what they can learn from India.

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.

Why hospital security guards can’t keep doctors and nurses safe — and how to...

When things get heated at hospitals or clinics, security guards often need to step in. But they’re not always trained to handle situations the right way. A new training programme can help.

#SliceofLife: I never knew my dad — because my mom didn’t want me to

Abigail Olivier’s* mother was angry at the father of her child. So she made sure that he couldn’t have a relationship with his daughter. As an adult, Olivier realised it could be a case of what some experts call parental alienation.

How dirty is Hammanskraal’s water? Very, experts say

Findings from an investigation into the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal north of Pretoria revealed on Wednesday that the germ is not in the township’s tap water — but it is in a river close by. How will this be fixed?

M72: Three things you need to know about a TB jab that might work

Many tuberculosis vaccines are in the works — but only one is showing real promise. Here’s why it’s worth getting excited.

Three ways Africa can gear up for heat waves

Countries in central and sub-Saharan Africa will be hit the hardest by heat waves as climate change ramps up. What can Africans do to survive?

When parents behave badly

Parents embroiled in custody disputes can turn on each other — and use their children as pawns in their battle. But claims of parental alienation are controversial and difficult to prove. In the end both children and parents lose.

The health department’s NHI branch appoints two new chief directors. Here’s what you need...

The appointments for the heads of two more of the five directorates of the National Health Insurance (NHI) were approved on Monday. These two positions will oversee user and service provider management and healthcare benefits and provider payment design. In the latest episode of Bhekisisa’s monthly TV show, Health Beat, Mia Malan asked the health department’s Nicholas Crisp and Sasha Stevenson from Section27 how the NHI will play out.

Can taking two pills a week slow down TB in South Africa? There’s a...

Not only does South Africa have one of the highest rates of tuberculosis in the world, the disease is also the country’s number one killer. With the country’s new national guidelines, more people will be able to get pills to prevent TB, which is part of the government’s plan to curb infections.

A period is not a shame — yet these women were humiliated for it

Police arrested three senior staff members of a food company in Kenya who strip-searched workers to find out who put a sanitary towel into the wrong bin. Activists say period shaming should stop.