Long Form

Long Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

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.
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 girl living with albinism has her eyes tested. A new regional plan by the African Commission on Human and People's Rights calls for the affordable provision of eye care and sunscreen to people living with the condition.

Waiting to disappear: The danger of being too pale

Ikponwosa Ero went from a child who felt different to the United Nations’ first independent expert on albinism.
The Finnish baby box was introduced in the 1930s when the country was poor

Would you put your baby in a cardboard box? Check out this parenting trend

The Finns’ cardboard box prompts an African graduate to develop a life-saving device for babies.
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.
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.
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?
A high proportion of Egypt’s population is blind or visually impaired but this does not stop them playing football. The ball rattles as it moves

Football like you’ve never seen it: On the pitch with this blind soccer team

Blind football represents hope and belonging for Egypt's one million visually impaired.
Studies suggest rheumatic heart disease affects 25 in every 1000 South Africans

Penicillin shortages as pharma companies eye newer, more lucrative drugs

Older antibiotic staples are no longer moneymakers. But as modern bugs evolve to outwit them, very few new drugs are ready to take their place.
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.
Bridging the gap: Pupils at the Emerald Hill School for the Deaf learning sign language. The majority of deaf people in Zimbabwe reportedly cannot read or write.

Hospitals introduce sign language to bridge gap between the deaf and care

Some hospitals are introducing sign language to help deaf patients.
Dire working conditions pit doctors' rights against those of patients

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

The quest for better working conditions leaves striking doctors with a tough decision but they might not have to choose.
Zimbabwean doctors went on strike in February for more money and more posts. In 2008

How to fund a failing health system

Could Zimbabwe's new Health Development Fund rescue the country's cash-strapped clinics and hospitals?
Inside the 'dead zone': In an outdoor laboratory at Texas' Sam Houston State University

Afraid of death? Take comfort that you’ll live on in varied and surprising ways

Most of us would rather not know what happens to our bodies after death. But that breakdown gives birth to new life in unexpected ways.
Loud and clear: A billboard in Lilongwe

Malawi to halt prosecutions against LGBTI community

Malawi says it will no longer enforce anti-homosexuality laws but dangerous homophobia persists on the country's streets - and in its clinics.
High-priced technology puts a price tag on life.

From our archives: This disposable piece of technology might save your life – if...

Many diabetics are dependent on expensive blood sugar testing strips to stay alive. Most in South Africa can't afford it.