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Health Beat shorts

Watch and read these short videos and articles from Health Beat

Corruption trap: Why healthcare fraud is costing you money

When South Africa’s medical schemes lose R28-billion a year, it puts a dent in your pocket. What could private medical aid funds’ teams who work to get back that money teach the National Health Insurance? Mia Malan talks to Botho Mhozya of Discovery Health in the March edition of Bhekisisa’s monthly TV programme Health Beat.

[VIDEO] When politicians steal, patients suffer

The National Health Insurance scheme is supposed to provide all South Africans with the healthcare many have fought and died for. But citizens are wary of trusting politicians with the public purse and point to Tembisa Hospital on the East Rand as an example of how money set aside for health, has been used for anything but.

What’s 95% safer than tobacco? Not vapes, say experts

More and more studies are showing that vaping is not harmless and that electronic smokes should be regulated the same way as traditional cigarettes — and governments are getting on board. A lung health expert from the University of Cape Town tells Mia Malan why in the February edition of Health Beat, Bhekisisa’s monthly TV programme.

Wake up: Sleeplessness is a public health crisis

When you’re not feeling rested and refreshed after a night’s sleep, your thinking is fuzzy, your reaction time drops and you feel sluggish at work. But more and more research shows that sleeping poorly is a big public health worry. Today, on World Sleep Day, two experts explain why.

[VIDEO] Here’s how e-cigarettes turn juice into clouds

When e-cigarettes were first tested by cigarette smokers, there were complaints about them being too smooth. So propylene glycol was added to give users that harsh hit at the back of the throat they were used to. A lung doctor explains why the clouds of smoke that accompany vapes aren’t clean steam, but chemicals.

[WATCH] Why some parents are led to think e-cigarettes are healthy (they’re not)

“We are not saying tobacco should be banned,” says Tshweu Mosedi, an anti-tobacco activist who wants to keep e-cigarettes away from kids. He supports the new Tobacco Bill that will restrict vape marketing and sales. The Health Beat team meets Mosedi in Katlehong on Joburg’s East Rand, where fruity flavours and flashy adverts have tricked youngsters and parents into believing that e-cigarettes are healthy.

[WATCH] Is snoring a sign of a sleep disorder?

Sleep apnoea means you stop breathing for some time while asleep. Your brain then tells your body to wake up so that you can get much-needed oxygen. Picture this happening 42 times an hour every night. That’s what Juanita Herholdt used to go through before getting tested and treated for this sleep disorder.

How does anti-HIV medication work — and would you use it?

Implementation trials start early 2024 in South Africa to help researchers find out what will make people use a two-monthly anti-HIV jab. Linda-Gail Bekker of the University of Cape Town, heads up one of the studies and spoke to Mia Malan on Bhekisisa’s TV show, Health Beat.

How taking ARVs daily stops those with HIV from transmitting the virus

Mapeseka Mabena has spent a decade getting her HIV patients to start and stay on treatment. Taking ARVs every day can be taxing, but Mabena motivates people with a reminder that meds can help them have HIV-free children and stop them passing on the virus through sex. She explains how in this video.

[WATCH] Why these three women use the anti-HIV pill and vaginal ring

Around 500 people in South Africa get infected with HIV each day. A number that Mbali Jonas from the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation wants to reduce to zero. They’re doing this by telling youth about medications that can stop HIV infection. We take you to their communities and show you how they work.

Heating up: Here’s how climate change works

Too much greenhouse gases going into the air from burning coal, oil and gas make the atmosphere warmer than it should be. This causes global weather patterns to change, aka climate change. Watch this animation to learn more.

‘The future is frightening.’ Why climate change makes young people think twice about having...

The climate crisis is bad for people’s mental health — and it’s taken increasingly seriously at this year’s conference of the parties, COP28. In this interview from Health Beat, Bhekisisa’s monthly TV show, South African climate justice activist, Kumi Naidoo, explains what climate anxiety is — and what we can do about it.

#COP28: The spread of HIV has slowed down over the past 30 years. Will...

Experts at COP28 have warned that the climate crisis threatens to put us back in the fight against HIV. Floods and droughts will make it harder to adhere to daily treatment and to access HIV prevention medication, and will increase the demand for transactional sex.

Why climate change makes pollution and lung diseases worse

Dirty air makes it hard to breathe. Add hotter days or extreme cold into the mix and it will become harder still, especially for people who already have lung problems. In the latest episode of Health Beat, Mia Malan spoke to Caradee Wright, a public health specialist at the Medical Research Council, about what climate change will mean for people who already struggle to breathe, and what can be done about it.

[WATCH] Why a hotter Earth makes dirty air more dangerous

Doctors have told Khehla Mahlangu and Jeremiah Maseko that their lungs are no good. They’ve lived and worked in Secunda in Mpumalanga for many years, where factories have dirtied the air. And now climate change is worsening things.

Should nurses be allowed to hand out psychiatric drugs?

People with HIV have a big chance of battling with mental health problems. At the moment though, only doctors can prescribe psychiatric medicines. Could getting nurses to do this too help people with HIV to stay on their treatment, and so get infection rates down? Mia Malan finds out from a doctor who’s lived through HIV with his patients for the past 20 years.