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News and analysis

The skinny on Ozempic: Why it can help with weight loss — but not...

Bloating, belching and diarrhoea are just some of the side effects that come with using Semaglutide (Ozempic) for weight loss. Learn what doctors can do to help their patients here.
Heroin withdrawals: Could this drug be the answer?

Five steps in five years. A to-do list to help SA kick its heroin...

South Africa plans to make opioid substitutes such as methadone available at all state clinics and hospitals over the next five years. Methadone helps wean people off drugs such as heroin. Here are the five things the government needs to do to get this right.
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A rehydration robot, a pinch test & more: Tips to help health workers spot...

Follow our live coverage of the health department’s 23 May briefing on South Africa’s cholera outbreak.
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Stricter rules: Why better food regulations will help us fight obesity

Health problems linked to obesity — such as diabetes or heart disease — cost South Africa’s public health system up to R36 billion in 2020. In the latest episode of Bhekisisa’s monthly TV show, Health Beat, Mia Malan spoke to public health researcher Susan Goldstein about how regulations about how foods are sold can help to prevent obesity.

5 steps, fast: This plastic sheet and pouch can stop thousands of women from...

Researchers have found a way to slash life-threatening bleeding after birth by 60%, according to a study presented at the International Maternal Newborn Health Conference in Cape Town last week.

#HealthBudgetVote: How will provinces spend their money?

Health Minister Joe Phaahla will table his budget for the 2023/2024 financial year on 9 and 10 May. Get everything you need to stay on top of the developments, all in one place.

The anti-HIV injection will be made in SA: Here are 4 benefits of the...

The two-monthly HIV prevention injection, CAB-LA, will be made in South Africa, at the Indian drug company Cipla’s Benoni and Durban plants. But a start date for production hasn’t yet been announced.

Presidential Health Summit: The health department missed 60% of its 2018 goals

Follow our live coverage of the second Presidential Health Summit, which is being held in Boksburg on 4 and 5 May.

The perils of missing teeth & wrinkled skin: Will a new law curb witch...

Anyone can be accused of witchery, but older women in South Africa’s rural areas are the most common victims. Now, the South African Law Reform Commission argues a new law could help to protect people from violence while respecting their right to religion and belief.

‘I skip meals to make my insulin last longer’: The problem with Big Pharma’s...

The price of insulin in the United States will drop dramatically but people in low-income countries, who spend close to 100% of their income on the life-saving medication, won’t benefit.

Why the cruel treatment of obese people is one of the last great stigmas

The stigma that obese and overweight people face is similar to that seen in the early days of the HIV epidemic, when people used to say that it was someone’s own fault for getting infected, says Francois Venter, an HIV doctor and director of the Ezintsha research centre at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Three health ministers in a row have failed SA’s nurses. Here’s why

The health department got close to updating nurse prescribing rules in 2011, but didn’t follow through. Real change will have to happen soon since South Africa’s new HIV and TB strategy document says professional nurses have to help to prescribe antidepressants for 250 000 people by 2028.

Is a bigger cholera outbreak coming for Gauteng’s townships?

Public health experts worry that a cholera outbreak could be brewing in large townships like Diepsloot and Alexandra, where sewage runs through streets and rivers.

By the numbers: What load shedding does to your mental health

Three in four employed people surveyed by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) said their bosses expected them to do the same amount of work despite consistent power cuts. Many feared that continued load shedding will lead to job losses and derail attempts to turn around the country’s struggling economy. Mia Malan speaks to Sadag’s Cassey Chambers for Bhekisisa’s monthly TV programme, Health Beat.

Should you be worried about asymptomatic TB?

More than half of people in South Africa who are already sick with tuberculosis may not realise it because they don’t have any of the symptoms often linked with the disease, such as coughing and weight loss.
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This TB drug’s price just dropped by 80%. Meet the SA activist who helped...

Johnson & Johnson won’t be allowed to extend its patent on a life-saving TB drug in India, opening the door to cheaper generics for governments that buy the medicine from companies in that country.