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Long Form

Long Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

The unbearable loneliness of COVID-19

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.

The dark smell of illness: One family’s struggle for news from inside the ICU

You can’t visit family members with COVID-19 in hospital. So how do you find out how they’re doing? Mia Malan from the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism documented one woman’s story.
Lesotho netcare hospital

Why the public-private partnership to build Lesotho’s only specialist hospital floundered

It was hailed as a revolution in private investment in healthcare in Africa but almost a decade after it was opened,...

The lockdown women planning their escape from abusive homes

Cases of domestic violence tick up while shelters lose their income and scramble to get ready for the silent, second crisis...

Can you pause a pandemic? Inside the race to stop the spread of COVID-19...

Tracing the close contacts of people who test positive for coronavirus disease is a delicate dance. Here’s why these health workers...

A new kind of chemistry: Why science is rethinking the humble bed net

Disease-spreading mozzies may be getting wise to our best defences, but science is fighting back.
cerebral palsy

A parent’s place? Meet the women fighting for space at SA’s rural hospitals

Botched births and infections can leave many babies with a life-long inheritance: Cerebral palsy. Many will be dependent on caregivers for...

The long walk back to yourself: How this hospital revolutionised rural rehabilitation

Bhojana Mathunywa was attacked by four men for bag of tobacco. Now, slowly but surely, this team of rural therapists is helping him recover the everyday skills he lost. (Dylan Bush, Bhekisisa)

Teletubbies and friends: Inside the bizarre science behind your child’s favourite show

What makes the world’s most successful children’s TV programmes so addictive – and so strange? Linda Geddes explores the research on...
Plural personalities: What life is like living with dissociative identity disorder. (David Brandon Geeting)

My many selves: How I learned to live with multiple personalities

For years, science battled to understand whether multiple personality disorder was real or not. Today, the condition is known as dissociative...
A pregnant woman sits on a hospital bed.

Headaches, heartaches & pregnancy: Could this stem preeclampsia’s deadly tide?

This silent killer stalks expecting mothers around the world and is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in South...

Life on a hotter earth: Depression, drought & decolonising mental health

As the climate crisis worsens, arid parts of South Africa are expected to get even hotter and even more water-scarce. In...

Cobras & cures: Why the world is running chronically low on snake antivenom

Each year, millions will be bitten by venomous snakes and for many, antivenom will remain painfully out of reach. Discovering why...

The magistrate’s tail: How these pets are helping child rape victims get justice

The testimony of his eight-year-old victim may put convicted rapist Nicolas Ninow away for life. Ninow was convicted of rape on...
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Meet Zweli Mkhize, the man behind SA’s #COVID-19 response

Follow the country's health minister's journey from trainee doctor to his current role leading the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in...
Man walking on a dirt road in Togo.

Doing the ‘tramadol dance’: What this latest music craze says about Africa’s pill addiction

The illicit trade in this prescription pain killer has become the stuff of ballads and dance halls but its abuse is...