Too rich yet not rich enough: Why South Africa’s access to COVID pills is...

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South Africa’s medicines regulator recently approved a branded version of molnupiravir, a new COVID treatment. Cheaper generic versions are on the cards. But affordability does not necessarily mean equal access.

Come back for boosters: Why time alone is not enough to get people to...

Fully vaccinated adults in South Africa will be able to choose whether to get the Johnson & Johnson or the Pfizer vaccine when they queue for a booster dose.

A skin expert busts 11 Black skin myths

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The world of beauty and skincare is littered with myths and misinformation about Black skin. This extract from aesthetician Diya Ayodele’s book “Black Skin” busts some of the most common beliefs that stop people with Black skin from getting good information.

A state of siege: How abusers leverage fear and control

Leaving an abusive relationship is not as easy as walking out the door. Fear of physical or sexual violence are just some reasons people stay.

What we’ve learnt from half a decade of unanswered calls at clinics

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Bhekisisa has worked to create an updated database of telephone numbers for South Africa’s public sector abortion clinics since 2017. We’re still at it, and we’re proud to present the only tool that gives people the information they need without having to spend money on airtime or transport.

Smoke and mirrors: What you need to know about the hazy world of the...

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In the coming months, we’ll be publishing a series of analyses that plunge into the two sides’ arguments as they rally to fight for the nations’ lungs. Here, we take a look at the tobacco control players in South Africa.

SA schools are back full-time. Will one million missing learners return too?

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A million learners in South Africa did not return to school by May 2021. This is more than double the numbers seen pre-pandemic. The short-term disruptions to schools caused by COVID-19 could lead to permanent drop-outs unless students are kept engaged.

A few pills a day could keep severe COVID away: What you need to...

Two drugs to treat COVID-19 have recently become available. These aren’t substitutes for a vaccine, but they could help at-risk people from developing severe disease. Here’s what you need to know about the new pills on offer.

Mutating toward mildness: How Omicron’s changes make it less deadly

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The Omicron variant spreads rapidly causing surges in infections. But it doesn’t seem to be causing more severe cases. Still, there’s a need for caution as higher case numbers means more hospitalisations. Here’s what we know so far.

The secret is in your cells: How the body can protect you from getting...

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Omicron is the most mutated form of SARS-CoV-2 that the world has seen. These changes allow it to spread faster and outsmart your body’s natural defences. But the immune system has some tricks up its sleeve that help protect you from getting severely ill.

‘Tis the season for a new variant: Your introduction to how quickly Omicron is...

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The Omicron variant was identified in South Africa at the end of November and has quickly begun to dominate new infections in the country. Here’s what the data tells us so far about how quickly Omicron spreads — but truly understanding the variant will take more time.

Table talk: This deal could get vaccines to poorer countries fast. Guess who’s blocking...

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Powerful governments, including the European Union and the UK, are resisting a proposed deal that could enable companies in less developed countries to legally manufacture COVID products developed by large pharmaceutical companies.

Bhekisisa wins the 2021 Reconciliation Award for its role in reporting on the COVID...

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The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism was awarded the 2021 Reconciliation Award from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. This award recognises the work our team has done over the past year to cover the COVID pandemic and the role our organisation has played in advancing healthcare solutions through reporting on health and social justice issues across Africa.

The science of sequencing: How Africa is preparing for future pandemics

Africa is building up a genomic surveillance network of 12 regional hubs that will help the continent to prepare for future pandemics.

The ABCs of DIY vaccines: Why tech transfer is a big thing

Africa’s reliance on companies outside the continent can be turned around in time for the next health crisis. A new World Health Organisation initiative will make this happen by helping nations make jabs without slogging through the trial and error of developing a new vaccine.

The Pfizer palpitations: What exactly are the risks to teens’ hearts from this COVID...

As South Africa’s teenagers line up to get their Pfizer COVID jab, many parents are concerned about the possible risk of heart inflammation. We break down the numbers behind this extremely rare side effect and why it shouldn’t deter teens from getting a shot.