Home Features Long Form

Long Form

Long Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

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?
End of the road: Ntombizodwa Matthews was wheeled put of Mafikeng Provincial Hospital in April because the facility had no staff to care for her. A month later she was buried.

Who killed Ntombizodwa Matthews? Politics, protest & corruption in the North West

A month after she was wheeled out of a North West hospital in a barrow, Ntombizodwa Matthews met her end. Her family blames politics for her death.
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.
In 2013 the psychology’s bible

When the sorrow doesn’t end: Could chronic grief be a medical condition?

The pain of bereavement is supposed to ease with time. When it doesn't, psychiatrists call it 'complicated grief' and it can be treated.
Refugees are at risk of developing mental disorders

‘The baby fell, but I just kept running’

Refugees can flee their countries, but they can't escape the trauma of war.

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...
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...
Bianca Jonkers* was gang raped and the free Vimba! app puts helped her access counselling and care.

‘I would have killed myself’: Free app puts care at rape survivors’ fingertips

In Diepsloot, Bhekisisa's Vimba! app is helping rape survivors access life-saving care and treatment.
In 1992

This country figured out how to stop teen substance abuse, so why has no...

Find out which nordic nation radically cut teenage smoking, drinking and drug use and how they did it.
Postpartum psychosis

My descent into postpartum psychosis – and how I got out

A new mother recounts how psychiatric care that nurtured her bond with her baby helped heal her mania.
A bicycle ambulance arrives at Trinity Hospital in southern Malawi

Pedal power: Malawi’s ‘rickshaw’ bush ambulances cycle the sick to care

Already used in countries like Namibia, the ambulances could help cut child and maternal mortality rates.
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....

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

A new loo: Gaze into the toilet bowl of the future

Despite our complicated relationship with it, our poo could one day power our cell phones, tablets and laptops.

A grim anniversary: Hundreds of clinics close as Trump’s gag rule turns one

Governments and even anonymous do-gooders are stepping into fill the funding gap left by the US decision, but their pockets will never...
Eleven-month-old Akalapatan Kebo

Gasping for breath: Pneumonia’s deadly toll

A disease that claims the lives of two children under five a minute worldwide has hit drought-stricken Kenya hard, its spread driven by malnutrition.
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?