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Unengaged and uninvolved: How to help South Africa’s youth stay off the streets and...

Young South Africans in townships are less likely to have access to recreational activities like sports centres, community halls or parks. With little else to do, they may turn to gangs, crime or drug and alcohol abuse. Here’s how to fix that.

Finding the right fit: Why South Africa won’t be using this COVID pill

South Africa is unlikely to buy a new oral COVID-19 pill called molnupiravir, despite the drug having been approved for use in the country. That’s because deciding to spend money on a medication rests on more than just whether it works.

Magic melanin: Everything that makes Black skin unique

Black skin has a natural sun protection barrier equal to sunscreen of 13.4 because it contains more melanin. This extract from the book “Black Skin” unpacks the factors that make dark skin unique.

Wait, donate, demolish: Why millions of SA’s vaccines will never be used

Children between the ages of 5 and 11 are given smaller doses of the Pfizer vaccine than adults. That means the government will have to buy new vials and new needles for the vaccine programme to vaccinate this group which the health department doesn’t have the money to do.

Too rich yet not rich enough: Why South Africa’s access to COVID pills is...

South Africa’s medicines regulator recently approved a branded version of molnupiravir, a new COVID treatment. Cheaper generic versions are on the cards. But affordability does not necessarily mean equal access.

Come back for boosters: Why time alone is not enough to get people to...

Fully vaccinated adults in South Africa will be able to choose whether to get the Johnson & Johnson or the Pfizer vaccine when they queue for a booster dose.

A skin expert busts 11 Black skin myths

The world of beauty and skincare is littered with myths and misinformation about Black skin. This extract from aesthetician Diya Ayodele’s book “Black Skin” busts some of the most common beliefs that stop people with Black skin from getting good information.

A state of siege: How abusers leverage fear and control

Leaving an abusive relationship is not as easy as walking out the door. Fear of physical or sexual violence are just some reasons people stay.

What we’ve learnt from half a decade of unanswered calls at clinics

Bhekisisa has worked to create an updated database of telephone numbers for South Africa’s public sector abortion clinics since 2017. We’re still at it, and we’re proud to present the only tool that gives people the information they need without having to spend money on airtime or transport.

Smoke and mirrors: What you need to know about the hazy world of the...

In the coming months, we’ll be publishing a series of analyses that plunge into the two sides’ arguments as they rally to fight for the nations’ lungs. Here, we take a look at the tobacco control players in South Africa.

Hell is 16 000 unanswered telephones. The low tech problem blocking abortions

Abortion services only got a national “how to” document for doctors 23 years after termination of pregnancy was legalised in South Africa. And while the new rules go a long way to remove barriers to ending a pregnancy, non-profits say crucial information such as a simple list of telephone numbers is still lacking.

SA schools are back full-time. Will one million missing learners return too?

A million learners in South Africa did not return to school by May 2021. This is more than double the numbers seen pre-pandemic. The short-term disruptions to schools caused by COVID-19 could lead to permanent drop-outs unless students are kept engaged.

A few pills a day could keep severe COVID away: What you need to...

Two drugs to treat COVID-19 have recently become available. These aren’t substitutes for a vaccine, but they could help at-risk people from developing severe disease. Here’s what you need to know about the new pills on offer.

New year, same rules: The science behind masks, ventilation and keeping a distance

Wearing a mask, washing your hands, good ventilation and keeping your distance all help to lower your chances of getting infected by the virus that causes COVID-19. This is because they reduce how much virus you could be exposed to as you go about your day. As scientists think the virus will be with us for years to come, these measures, along with vaccination, will be crucial to help us keep safe as we go back to the office, schools, and everywhere in between.

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

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...

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.