Short Form

Short Form Journalism by the Bhekisisa Team

Disabled: Bongani Ngcobo has multidrug-resistant tuberculosis but has been refused a government grant

TB man’s shirt too nice for a grant

South Africa has disability grants but a doctor deemed his tuberculosis patient was not poor enough.
11-year-old Violet O’Dell had a large

Light at the end of the scalpel for more targeted brain surgery

A brave little girl inspired a new ‘tumour paint’ to indicate to surgeons which tissue to remove.
Bald facts: Lebo Ramafoko

Sometimes your locks run out

Alopecia or hair loss can devastate your self-esteem, unless you hold your head up high.
Get a whiff of this: The distinctive aroma of wine and the odour of human sweat trigger very specific emotional responses from the cortex of the human brain.

The man who can’t smell the roses – or his daughter

Loss of this sense affects taste and also damages a person’s sense of emotional place in the world.
Bullied: Pharmacist Alfred Mokoditoa refused a settlement offered by Hosmed on condition he withdraw all his civil claims and criminal charges.

Independent pharmacies take on medical aid ‘bullies’

Community chemists say racial profiling and gated network are putting them out of business.
Virginia Human

Cuffed for no crime, kicked to the kerb

Instead of the care she sought, a vulnerable patient found further distress in a PE hospital.
Falling short: Public health centres

Public health suffers if vaccines are not accessible

A Western Cape project is looking to make free vaccines available in private clinics, but the Eastern Cape has stopped the practice.
Reach out: Mobilisers select busy areas of the township

Man to man, sexual health needs are better met at male-only clinics

A centre employing only men has opened in Khayelitsha to address the needs of males uneasy about being seen at mixed-gender facilities.
Patients' removal from the hospital was opposed at every step by activists and families

It’s a nightmare when mental health medicine runs out

Mental health patients in Johannesburg's East Rand are hard hit by the unavailability of medication.
Alternatives: Residents of Mabeskraal in the North West are reverting to traditional medicine

Drug shortages send rural patients back to home remedies

The minister insists there is no problem, but too many health centre cupboards are bare.
The high cost of care means that many people cannot afford treatment for bipolar

The high cost of being bipolar

Patients are subject to wild mood swings and costly spending sprees,but they can be treated with the right medicine - and a lot of money.
Club members gather in homes and other centres in Khayelitsha to meet lay health workers.

Meet the Khayelitsha compliers club

Communities are bringing HIV monitoring and dispensing out of the clinics and into their homes.
Bitter pill: Soweto resident Pamela Mantyi struggles to get insulin from her local clinic because of stock shortages. Photos: Madelene Cronjé

Drug shortages ‘imperil NHI plan’

A quarter of public clinics ran out of HIV and TB medication last year, a survey has found.
Those left behind: After Ntombi Mthimunye died

When the long wait for treatment turns deadly

Johannes Mnguni believes his wife would still be alive if a Mpumalanga clinic had done its job.
A girl demonstrates how to use the new washable sanitary towels.

Washable pads have the potential to bring dignity to all women

Reusable sanitary towels are cheaper than regular pads and tampons but the state is failing to distribute these to schoolgirls from poor families.
Some women find it hard to leave their abusers for economic and emotional reasons and feel 'stuck' in their situation.

A fist and a hard place

Some women find it hard to leave their abusers for economic and emotional reasons and feel 'stuck' in their situation.