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The lost particles of grief: How COVID-19 is changing death

From grandmothers to gravediggers, the sudden, suffocating deaths of the coronavirus pandemic is affecting people in all sectors of South African society. Here’s one Cape Town family’s story of life after death. 

A tale of two pandemics: Is COVID-19 repeating the mistakes of HIV’s past?

In South Africa, two outbreaks are colliding and one thing may shape the future of both.

The unbearable loneliness of COVID-19

There are no visiting hours for COVID-19 patients. Instead, there’s anxiety, fear, stigma and potential grief. But there’s also — at least some — resilience.

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.
Lesotho netcare hospital

Why the public-private partnership to build Lesotho’s only specialist hospital floundered

It was hailed as a revolution in private investment in healthcare in Africa but almost a decade after it was opened, Lesotho’s only specialist hospital takes up almost a third of the country’s entire health budget. Now, we may finally know why.

The lockdown women planning their escape from abusive homes

Cases of domestic violence tick up while shelters lose their income and scramble to get ready for the silent, second crisis of gender-based violence that research suggests will follow the coronavirus pandemic.

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

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 cover of darkness to take action.
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A new kind of chemistry: Why science is rethinking the humble bed net

Disease-spreading mozzies may be getting wise to our best defences, but science is fighting back.
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 their entire lives, but could switching up the way we think about treating the condition provide children and carers some respite?
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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 kids’ TV, what it’s teaching us about childhood development, and how that can help make programmes for the better.
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

Memories, behaviours, attitudes and even perceived age can all switch together as people transition from one self to another.
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 Africa. But still many women can’t name it — or identify its symptoms. But if knowledge is power, is it enough to stem this deadly tide? Ghana is hoping to find out.

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

As the climate crisis wears on, it's taking a toll on our mental health and indigenous knowledge systems may hold the key to helping us weather the storm.

Cobras & cures: Why the world is running chronically low on snake antivenom

Millions will be bitten by venomous snakes each year and for many, antivenom will remain painfully out of reach. Here's why.
|Therapy dogs from Top Dogs are dressed up as role players in the Krugersdorp Magistrates Court to showcase how court proceedings work to children that have to testify in court.|Therapy dogs from Top Dogs are dressed up as role players in the Krugersdorp Magistrates Court to showcase how court proceedings work to children that have to testify in court.|Therapy dogs from Top Dogs are dressed up as role players in the Krugersdorp Magistrates Court to showcase how court proceedings work to children that have to testify in court. In this photograph Flake is dressed up as the State Prosecutor.|Therapy dogs from Top Dogs are dressed up as role players in the Krugersdorp Magistrates Court to showcase how court proceedings work to children that have to testify in court. In this photograph Peanut is dressed as the court orderly and lies on the lap of one of the children present in court.|Therapy dog Napoleon leaves the courtroom after the workshop in court.|Four therapy dogs dressed as courtroom characters.

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.“All rise,” a voice declares as the...