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Long Form

Long Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

Blood cancer patients such as Retha Wessels are forced to get a life-saving drug illegally to avoid paying thousands for it each month.

He would ransom the pills for something more precious than profit: His wife’s life

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When a few months of treatment costs as much as a house, some patients are taking their lives and the law into their own hands to survive.
Dire working conditions pit doctors' rights against those of patients

Will strikes pit the rights of doctors against those of their patients?

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The quest for better working conditions leaves striking doctors with a tough decision but they might not have to choose.
A mother delivers via C-section in Mozambique. In South Africa

A changing birth: What’s behind SA’s skyrocketing c-section rates?

Almost one in four babies born at public hospitals come into the world via c-section but is it costing some women their lives?
It's not only women who prefer Caesarean sections

Caesarean vs vaginal birth: A mother’s choice, not her doctor’s

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C-sections may result in fewer lawsuits, but they are not always the best option.

[From the archives] The lockdown women planning their escape from abusive homes

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Take a look back at the barriers survivors of gender-based violence faced in the stricter levels of South Africa's coronavirus lockdown. Back then, shelters...
Postpartum psychosis

My descent into postpartum psychosis – and how I got out

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A new mother recounts how psychiatric care that nurtured her bond with her baby helped heal her mania.
Making waves: Women on Web offers an online portal that dispatches an abortion pill to people across the world.

‘I told them I had a miscarriage. But the nurses knew what had really...

Go inside the international network of women willing to break the law to give people access to termination of pregnancy services.
Female genital mutilation is banned in Agamsaha village

Female genital mutilation: Hope blooms in Somaliland

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Women in Somaliland are working together with an NGO to eliminate one of the most ancient and extreme practices of female genital mutilation.
Toeing the line: The children at the Johannesburg Autism School need an organised and constant schedule at school to provide them with a stable

The ABCs of autism in the classroom: ‘He only wants to eat sandwiches with...

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Autistic children experience the world differently, but this doesn’t stop them from learning.
Naloxone is cheap

Saved: How drug users gained the power to reverse overdoses

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Find out how drug users banded together to use a simple injection to save thousands of lives.
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.
What’s behind mysterious cancer hot spots popping up all over the world?

Could this finally solve the Eastern Cape’s cancer mystery?

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The substances that cause cancer leave their fingerprints behind. Now, the world may be closer than ever to unravelling the clues hidden in our DNA.
Being bilingual is better for your brain. Now

Speak more than one language? This is what it does to your brain.

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Speaking more than one language could lead to better tests scores and even being a more empathetic person.
Tender delays have pushed a shortage of the popular birth control shot Nur-Isterate into its second year.

This popular birth control shot is out of stock for the second year running....

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Women who have been forced to go without their usual birth control shot are now facing the consequences of months-long shortages.

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

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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)
Survivor: Thulani Sibisi

#SowetoMarathon: Why this prostate cancer survivor is running today

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A marathon runner with prostate cancer uses his skill to promote awareness and encourage testing.