News and analysis


Our 10 most-read stories of 2022

Before the festive season kicks off, take a look at Bhekisisa’s most-read stories of 2022.

HIV treatment in SA is changing. Here are 7 things you need to know

The HIV drug dolutegravir is the star of new treatment guidelines from the government and the Southern African HIV Clinicians’ Society. From 2023, the medicine will be the go-to drug in all treatment plans — for infants, children and pregnant women.

The anti-HIV jab has been approved in SA, says Sahpra. Here’s why it will...

South Africa’s medicine regulator has registered CAB-LA, a new anti-HIV jab. But for how much will drugmaker ViiV Healthcare sell it to the government? We asked them in our TV programme, Health Beat.

Good, bad & ugly: How SA’s fight against GBV & femicide is going

Between April 2020 and September 2022, 988 women were killed by their intimate partners, police data shows. In about the same time, the government achieved just 1 in 5 of the targets in its action plan to fight gender-based violence and femicide.

‘Today I’m a nurse, a cleaner, a clerk & a plumber’: Step inside Africa’s...

Doctors at Africa’s biggest hospital were left scrambling on Tuesday when they had to work without nurses, admin clerks or service staff. Find out how it played out at Chris Hani Baragwanath.

Go inside SA’s biggest hospital during a national strike

Bhekisisa health reporter Jesse Copelyn is inside Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, where nurses have downed tools as part of a national strike – the third labour action for 2022.

Bhekisisa gets a merit award for COVID reporting

Our team has received a fifth national award for our COVID reporting, this time from the National Press Club for “fearlessly reporting the facts and science” of the pandemic.

Don’t talk to me, talk to my lawyer: The plan to stop SA’s fake...

The Special Investigating Unit has a year to track down dodgy lawyers and patients who file fake medical negligence claims. Plus, a new draft bill proposes that the state pay less for negligence.

We will see patients dying and falling in the street’: Tigray could run out...

The war in Ethiopia has prevented humanitarian groups from supplying the country’s northern Tigray region with food and medicines, leading to critical shortages of insulin.

Inside SA’s mRNA hub: What it looks like and how it works

Afrigen Biologics, a Cape Town pharmaceutical company, has made Africa’s first COVID jab as part of the World Health Organisation’s mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub. How did they do it and what’s next?

An overlooked workforce: How these mental health paramedics can ease depression & anxiety in...

Millions of South Africans suffer from common mental health illnesses but don’t have access to psychologists or psychiatrists. Registered counsellors are trained to relieve this burden but they’re struggling to find work in the public sector. Here’s why.
Local school children. (David Lee)

This metal is destroying children’s brains — and SA has no plans to remove...

Children who are exposed to lead — a metal found in certain paints and batteries — can face a series of problems as they grow up, ranging from heart problems to violent behaviour. While the government has introduced laws to combat lead exposure, experts worry that they aren’t effectively implemented or enforced.

A torchlight tragedy: Inside a Joburg emergency room during loadshedding

In July, loadshedding left Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital without a CT scanner, a piece of equipment that could have helped a patient who had suffered a serious brain injury.

Is the future of SA’s TB plans locked up in the mysterious minds of...

South Africa’s health facilities aren’t geared up to help teens with TB to complete their treatment. As a result, the preventable, treatable disease was the leading cause of death among adolescents in South Africa between 2008 and 2018.

Will the UK’s new prime minister cut funds to this malaria jab?

A malaria vaccine has passed the World Health Organisation’s efficacy rate of 75%. But if the United Kingdom’s new prime minister cuts foreign aid, the people who need the jab may never get it.

These gun laws saved 30 lives a month in two big cities. Here’s what...

A recent spate of massacres has reignited the conversation about firearm control. It’s an emotional debate, but what does the evidence say about the kind of policies that work to prevent gun violence?