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Long Form

Long Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

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

The National Health Insurance: Can Zweli Mkhize pull this off?

Can the health minister fix our health system and what will it take? Here’s what Mkhize’s character, views and his past...
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...
Most medical aids won't cover a new

The WHO, the drug & women’s right to choose: The story behind dolutegravir

Take a look at the newest HIV treatment set to hit South Africa's shores in 2019.
A teenager receives a vaccination

How this country is beating anti-vaxxers at their own game

One in three French people think vaccines are unsafe, yet vaccine coverage in the country is rising. Here’s how they do...
Man in Ebola protection suit.

‘Most complex health crisis in history’: Congo struggles to contain Ebola

Political, security and cultural complications – not least a refusal to believe that Ebola exists – have thwarted efforts to overcome...
What happens when anesthesia works as well as it should?

This is what it’s like waking up during surgery

General anaesthetic is supposed to make surgery painless. Now there’s evidence that one person in 20 may be awake when doctors think they’re under.
Sold on the idea: Asiphe Ntshongontshi used the family calendar to keep track of when she took the HIV prevention pill. She lives in Masiphumelele outside Cape Town close to a youth centre and clinic that dish out the tablet.

One she called the ‘minister of love’. The other? He was the ‘minister of...

Since the country’s rollout, less than a quarter of people who’ve started taking the HIV prevention pill are young women — despite high HIV rates.
TB remains a leading cause of death in South Africa.

Anyone can catch this drug-resistant bug. Surviving treatment is another story.

For years, catching this drug-resistant bacteria meant painful treatment that risked your hearing and mental health. Now, that could be changing.