Trials, tinsel & tango: Go inside Linda-Gail Bekker’s COVID world

Linda-Gail Bekker says researching infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and HIV is like a colossal round of the murder mystery cluedo. Follow the story of the scientist with the purple pixie-cut from a farm in Zimbabwe to her inauguration as the first African president of the International Aids Society and beyond.

[PHOTOS]: ‘We need staff, psychological help’: Go inside a Gauteng COVID ICU fighting the...

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Driven by a more infectious new COVID variant, the second wave of South Africa’s coronavirus pandemic has seen considerably more infections than the first wave. This meant health workers have had to deal with more hospitalisations and deaths — and pressure. Bhekisisa visited George Mukhari Academic Hospital north of Tshwane to document the second wave realities experienced by doctors and nurses.

‘Where the governments see statistics, I see the faces of my friends’

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Yvette Raphael describes herself as a ‘professional protester, sjambok feminist and hater of trash’. Government officials would likely refer to her as ‘a rebel’. She’s fought for equality her entire life, she says. And she’s scared of no one.

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...

Sexual violence and unintended pregnancy in South Africa: Is there a link?

A study among adolescents and young women in South African universities found that girls who had experienced sexual violence were more likely to report...

How COVID-19 took hold in South Africa

We take you on the new coronavirus's journey through the country — and tell you how it got it.

Why COVID school closures are making girls marry early

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The pandemic’s impact is long-term: the UN warns that it could lead to 13 million more child marriages over a decade.

‘I had to kill so many people’: The battle to protect children in conflicts

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25,000 grave violations were committed against children in conflict in 2019, says the UN, which hopes to highlight issue with new international day.

From stranded to solitude: How the short-lived relief of repatriation could be people’s tipping...

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As South Africa enters level two of its national lockdown, international travel remains restricted. One of the few exceptions are repatriation flights, which require a mandatory quarantine period. But the toll of mounting stress and isolation may have long-term consequences on people’s mental health.

Behind the masks: Meet the people who keep Gauteng’s field hospital going

Get to know the cleaners, plumbers and therapists who work at the Nasrec field hospital. Plus, find out what happens to newspapers, food, and medical...
Protesting journalists

India arrests dozens of journalists in clampdown on critics of COVID-19 response

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Reporters for independent outlets, many in rural areas, say pressure won’t deter them from covering embarrassing stories Facing a continuing upward trajectory in COVID-19 cases,...

How to save a life: Easing grief from inside COVID ICUs

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An app, a few volunteers, and buy-in from doctors can make the frontlines a kinder place for patients, staff, and families. When the...

The lost particles of grief: How COVID-19 is changing death

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From grandmothers to gravediggers, the sudden, suffocating deaths of the coronavirus pandemic is affecting people in all sectors of South African society. Here’s one...

Why #COVID19 anti-corruption campaigns could make people more likely to pay bribes

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa was clear: COVID-19 funds have been stolen and misused, food parcels have been diverted from households in need and...

A tale of two pandemics: Is COVID-19 repeating the mistakes of HIV’s past?

In South Africa, two outbreaks are colliding and one thing may shape the future of both.

The unbearable loneliness of COVID-19

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There are no visiting hours for COVID-19 patients. Instead, there’s anxiety, fear, stigma and potential grief. But there’s also — at least some — resilience.