News and analysis

How to prevent HIV with a pill

Twenty things you need to know about how to prevent HIV with a pill

Need to know more about PrEP? Mia Malan talks to Dr Kevin Rebe to answer your questions.

Street vendors, vetkoeks and Cokes: ‘The food tastes good and is cheap’

About one in five teens in South Africa are overweight or have obesity, with eating unhealthy foods being a big part of the problem. But changing policies to make cities healthier can help school kids eat better — and set them up for a healthier future. Cape Town is part of a project to do this.
Nicotine pouches, also known as "upper deckys"

A huff and a puff: Could nicotine pouches put an end to smoking?

Dive into the world of "upper deckys" and "Zynbabwes”. Nicotine pouches have sparked a global sensation, hailed by some as the future of tobacco cessation. Yet, behind the catchy nicknames and promises of harm reduction lie the exploitation of legal loopholes and questionable science. What’s really the deal?

Why hospital security guards can’t keep doctors and nurses safe — and how to...

When things get heated at hospitals or clinics, security guards often need to step in. But they’re not always trained to handle situations the right way. A new training programme can help.

Can South Africa stop cervical cancer in the next 40 years?

About 10 000 women in South Africa get this cervical cancer every year. But it can be prevented by getting a vaccine against the human papillomavirus, which causes this type of cancer. The government wants to wipe out cervical cancer by 2063 — like Australia is on track to do by 2030. Here’s how.

Dirty air & diabetes: Scientists say there’s a link

A seven-year study across 12 000 people in two Indian cities shows that breathing in dirty city air for as little as one month can raise blood sugar levels. After a year of this, people have a higher chance of getting type 2 diabetes.

#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 your toilet water is turned into drinking water — and which provinces get...

Is the water in your tap safe? What about cleaning that in storage tanks? In this Health Beat interview, Mia Malan speaks to environmental scientist Ayesha Laher about the state of South Africa’s water systems, how you can test your water for germs and what you should do if your water isn’t clean.

Yes or no? Here’s what SA says sexual consent means

From kissing to final base, people have to say yes before you can go on. We asked people in South Africa what consent means to them, and what influences their decisions.

Floods, food and families: Why climate change makes eating well harder

Even though there is enough food in South Africa to feed the whole country, not everyone can access that food. Women-headed homes are especially hard hit when it comes to hunger, and as weather patterns change because of global warming, this could worsen. Will political parties in the upcoming election care?

Our most-read stories of 2023

Before the festive season kicks off, take a look at Bhekisisa’s most-read stories of 2023.

How dirty is Hammanskraal’s water? Very, experts say

Findings from an investigation into the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal north of Pretoria revealed on Wednesday that the germ is not in the township’s tap water — but it is in a river close by. How will this be fixed?

‘It’s bleak’: What a future with dirty water looks like

As extreme weather events such as storms and floods linked to climate change disrupt water and sanitation systems, we can expect to see diseases like cholera, which spread through dirty water, pop up more often — and affect more people. In this interview for Bhekisisa’s monthly TV show, Health Beat, Mia Malan spoke to infectious diseases expert Tom Boyles about the link between climate change and disease outbreaks.

Why 32 000 SAns could die if we don’t switch to greener power earlier

South Africa needs to produce more electricity to end loadshedding. But at the same time we also need to move away from coal-fired power to fight global warming. In this tug-of-war, people who live close to power stations will keep falling ill from breathing in dirty air.
Sexual violence is rife in Khayelitsha primary schools

​#AIDS2016: ‘Blessers’ are the engine behind the rapid spread of HIV in young women

Blessers' form a crucial link in a cycle of HIV transmission that South Africa has not been able to break.

The health department’s NHI branch appoints two new chief directors. Here’s what you need...

The appointments for the heads of two more of the five directorates of the National Health Insurance (NHI) were approved on Monday. These two positions will oversee user and service provider management and healthcare benefits and provider payment design. In the latest episode of Bhekisisa’s monthly TV show, Health Beat, Mia Malan asked the health department’s Nicholas Crisp and Sasha Stevenson from Section27 how the NHI will play out.