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Long Form

Long Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

Period tax: Although funding has allowed for the first round of free pad deliveries in KwaZulu-Natal

#FreeToBleed: Here’s why Mboweni’s announcement of free & tax-free pads matters

Choosing between eating & bleeding through your uniform has a cost. Take a look at the reality behind the budget in this one from our archives.
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.

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.
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...

Why COVID school closures are making girls marry early

The pandemic’s impact is long-term: the UN warns that it could lead to 13 million more child marriages over a decade.
Do big solutions come in small packages? Questions remain as to how practical baby boxes would be for South African parents and babies.

Could this birth trend make for more serene deliveries?

Water births are a growing phenomenon in South Africa and globally. But this birth method is controversial – scientific evidence is lacking.

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

In court, comfort for the tiniest victims of sexual abuse can come from the unlikeliest of places.

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

Take a look back at the barriers survivors of gender-based violence faced in the stricter levels of South Africa's coronavirus lockdown....
Prophetess Odasani says she drives out the spirits afflicting women who come to her backstreet ‘church’ in Palermo.

‘Juju curse’ binds trafficked women into sex slavery

Traditional West African ‘healers’ and Sicilian psychiatrists are struggling to help free Nigerian women forced into prostitution.
Find out what women go through in India and the United States to access abortion and contraception.

Tales from Trumpland: Health workers will be forced to bury aborted fetal tissue

In the war on women's bodies, the casualties stretch far beyond US' 50 states.

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

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.
During the Ebola outbreak hospitals were seen as dumping grounds for the dying

Africa’s oldest psychiatric hospital a stark reminder of war and a forgotten people

After Sierra Leone’s civil war, money poured in for mental health services. But a decade later, there's little left to help Ebola’s victims.
Yvette Mbayo-Ndaya has high blood pressure

Refugees ripped off at state hospitals

Poor people who have fled their countries are expected to pay steep rates for treatment at government hospitals in Gauteng.
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.
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.
This is Simon Antindi

Meet the doctors: Take a look at this country’s first crop of homegrown physicians

Finally capping its own medics, the country must now retain them and coax them into rural areas.