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Bhekisisa at 10: Here’s what went down at our recent birthday party

On November 7, Bhekisisa celebrated 10 years of health reporting. Policymakers, researchers and activists joined us in marking this milestone. We also sat down to discuss the twin threats of climate change and health.

[LISTEN] The anti-HIV jab is coming to SA. Find out when and how

Towards the end of the year, donated batches of the anti-HIV jab, CAB-LA, will arrive in South Africa. The two-monthly jab will be used in implementation trials and virtually wipes out someone’s chances of contracting HIV through sex. How much will donors and the South African health department have to pay for such injections and can the drugmaker, ViiV Healthcare, make enough of them? In this podcast, Mia Malan asks Mitchell Warren, who leads a group of organisations and donors who look at ways to make the jab available as fast as possible, for answers.

Why climate change is the biggest threat to health this century

The world is in a polycrisis — and climate change will highlight vulnerabilities and inequalities in healthcare. We need to understand how changing weather patterns will affect our health and draw on lessons from past research to help us become more resilient. Here’s what experts said at Bhekisisa’s 10th birthday celebration on Tuesday, 7 November.

Health Beat #13 | Why a hotter Earth could break health budgets

A hotter Earth is a threat to human health. It means more floods, droughts and heatwaves, which in turn make many diseases spread faster. Higher temperatures also exacerbate air pollution, resulting in more damage to our lungs. In this Health Beat episode we show you why climate change is our next pandemic.

We’ve come a long way, baby

On our 10th birthday, we’ve grown from a three-person health desk at the Mail & Guardian to an independent media organisation with a staff of 20 full and part-time employees. Today, we have an average of two million annual pageviews and we’ve expanded from print-only stories to television and podcasts. Want to know more? This seven-minute video has it all.

#TeamBhekisisa | From 2013 to 2023: Here’s what’s in a day’s work for Bhekisisa...

Mia Malan founded Bhekisisa in 2013. Since then the centre’s staff has grown from 3 to 20 full and part-time employees. Here’s what she’s had to do to make this happen.

[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.

Over a million SAs have used the HIV prevention pill

More than a million public healthcare users in South Africa had started to use the HIV prevention pill by the end of May, with over half doing so in the past two years, health department data shows. But what must we do to make the pill — and a two-monthly HIV prevention injection — easier to get?

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.

#BhekisisaDiaries: Why Zano Kunene writes rugby stories

From the pitch to print, health reporter Zano Kunene takes you on the journey of how his passion for sports led to writing on sports-related brain injuries.

What HIV does to your brain — and how ARVs halt that

Left untreated, an HIV infection can cause inflammation in someone’s brain and lead to mental health problems. But antiretrovirals can stop it from happening. Mia Malan finds out how it works in this Health Beat interview.

[WATCH] Yvette Raphael’s incredible journey of two decades with HIV

South Africa’s HIV plan says nurses, not just doctors, should be able to prescribe antidepressants. HIV-positive people struggle with their mental health more than those without the virus. But is this plan enough to help them stick to their daily pill regimens? This activist says no. Watch her story to find out why.

Health Beat #12 | How to cope with taking HIV meds for life

People with HIV get depressed more often than those without the virus. This can make it hard to take their daily, lifelong medication correctly. In this Health Beat episode, we visit someone who has been taking ARVs for 22 years and ask experts if allowing nurses to prescribe antidepressants would help.

[WATCH] How anti-cervical cancer jabs work

Most cervical cancer cases are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which spreads through sex. Anti-HPV injections have been around since 2006 and getting the jab as a teenager can stop cervical cancer in about nine out of 10 women later in life. We break down how they work, what they cost and why they save lives.

[WATCH] This nurse wants to stop cervical cancer in Hammanskraal

Nurse Tebogo Seleka does about 100 cervical cancer tests a month. One in ten patients test positive. This could be avoided if they were vaccinated against the human papillomavirus which causes this cancer. Our TV team travels to Hammanskraal near Tshwane to find out how Seleka is using jabs to stop cervical cancer in her community.

[WATCH] How to use pills to prevent TB

New guidelines from the health department say anti-TB pills are now available to anyone who’s had long contact with someone who is sick with TB, to stop them from falling ill too. Here’s how it works.