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Long Form

Long Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

Man in Ebola protection suit.

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

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Political, security and cultural complications – not least a refusal to believe that Ebola exists – have thwarted efforts to overcome DRC’s deadly outbreak...
Meet Julius. Studies have shown that he can sniff out about 42% more TB cases than the average lab technician can detect with an ordinary microscope.

Angelina Jolie takes on her biggest role — as a TB-sniffing rat

Angelina might just have saved a life. But is there science to prove it?
Undercover: Bhekisisa reporter Pontsho Pilane posed as a pregnant woman considering an abortion at the Amato Centre in Pretoria to learn about the pregnancy counselling it offers.

Pregnant? Need an abortion? Here’s where not to go

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Are faith-based NGOs breaking the law when they refuse to give women information on where to terminate their pregnancies?

Elsa and Nosipho: They both sell sex for a living, but in opposite worlds

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Does sex work legislation have an impact on violence and the spread of HIV? We follow two women who operate in opposite worlds to find out.

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.
Autistic children in Lesotho don't have a school of their own. Most of them

Not a school in sight: Autistic children travel 500 km to learn

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A mother's love led her to South Africa to find a school for her son with autism.
Rachel Daniel

‘I was married to a Boko Haram’: What happens when a victim returns to...

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Eighty two of the Chibok school girls, kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria three years ago, have been released. But what now?

Kids are having sex. We need to help teen moms, not punish them

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Otlotleng Moolikwe fell pregnant after having sex with her boyfriend when she was 13 years old. And she’s not the only one. One in six South African teenagers between 15 and 19 years old have had a child. Here’s how to help them stay in school.
An eighth-grade teenager shows how funky and strong her fight against a four-letter word is.

Bianca learns to Beat It

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An eighth-grade teenager shows how funky and strong her fight against a four-letter word is. Mia Malan reports.

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

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Tracing the close contacts of people who test positive for coronavirus disease is a delicate dance. Here’s why these health workers wait for the...
West African footballers practise at a ground in Naya Bazaar

Football’s dashed hopes: The teenagers sold a Premier League lie

They thought they were signing up for a dream but it turned out to be a trafficking nightmare.

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

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

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

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What makes the world’s most successful children’s TV programmes so addictive – and so strange? Linda Geddes explores the research on kids’ TV, what...
Despite concerns about the drug

Why science could finally be close to solving this birth control riddle

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We could be just months away from knowing whether Depo-Provera use is linked to a higher risk of HIV infection in women.

Is DIY HIV testing the latest Cape Town trend?

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It starts with a swab but does it end with a diagnosis? Why the trickiest part of DIY HIV testing happens after the test.
Edith Kanengoni is a peer educator — one of 10 women recruited and trained by the House of Smiles to help other street mothers get medical help and improve their parenting skills.

Raising hope: From street child to mother

Abandoned as children, women in Harare are now teaching one another to fight for their futures.