Home Opinion

Opinion

The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Bhekisisa is one of only a few media outlets in the Global South specialising in solutions-based narrative features and analysis. We not only uncover problems but also critically evaluate the solutions meant to fix them. It’s an approach we also take with our opinion pieces.

What makes a good op-ed? What can I expect from the editing process? Who do I pitch a possible opinion piece to? Get the answers to all these questions along with some handy writing tips here before you make a submission.

From Oscar to Diepsloot: Why do men become violent?

Bhekisisa and Media Hack Collective's 2021 #SayHerName project, researched what gender-based violence stories make it onto the news.The data backed up what we...

Bending the curve: What a decade-long roll-out of the anti-HIV pill can teach the...

What can the roll-out of a two-monthly HIV prevention injection learn from how the daily anti-HIV pill was introduced? Create demand, make the jab easy to get hold of and ensure it’s not stigmatised, write Wawira Nyagah and Mitchell Warren.

There is no planet B: How HIV can teach us to deal with the...

Climate change is to public health today what Aids was 30 years ago, experts say — and it could put a spanner in the works for ending Aids as a public health threat by 2030. Yogan Pillay writes in an op-ed today what lessons we can take from responding to HIV to tackle the health effects of climate change.

The fine line between wrong and almost right — and how that plays out...

What should journalists do when presidents say the wrong thing — report the story or bury it? A medical doctor, editor, Rhodes Scholar and New York City’s health commissioner during COVID take a deep dive.

Right of reply: “It’s far more complex” — the health department responds to one...

Will the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme make things worse rather than better? Here’s the response to this question from the head of the NHI, Nicholas Crisp.

NHI: The problem with trying to kill two birds with one stone

The National Health Insurance scheme aims to solve two problems — fixing poorly-run health facilities and distributing the money available for healthcare in the country in a more equitable way — simultaneously. But trying to fix two things at once may make things worse, writes Dave Martin.
In Nigeria

Inequality didn’t rise from hell: It’s man-made — and there’s nothing like a pandemic...

Why do pandemics such as Aids not automatically end when we have the medicine to control them? Because they play out in a world where inequality frequently prevents drugs from reaching the people who need it most, writes Mia Malan.
|||

How to get ARVs delivered to your home in the rural Eastern Cape

In South Africa’s rural areas, people often face a long, arduous journey to get to a clinic where they can pick up their HIV medicines. Not taking the drugs regularly will mean that the person’s health suffers, which can make it even harder to make the trip. The Bulungula Incubator in the rural Eastern Cape has figured out how to set up a medicine pick-up point closer to people’s homes.

More food rations could devastate these refugees. Here’s why

Prevented by Bangladeshi authorities from working, refugees in the Cox’s Bazar camp are dependent on food aid, which is being cut again and again. “We cannot carry on like this,” writes Yasmin Ara.

‘There’s nothing un-African about being gay’: A mother’s plea for gay children’s right to...

In this moving account, an HIV activist describes her relationship with her gay son and her fears over Uganda’s homophobic bill that criminalises his sexuality.

‘She can’t discern jam from Vaseline’: Advice for the children of Alzheimer’s patients

In South Africa, a gene test that will tell you if you’re at risk for Alzheimer’s disease costs R3 600. But major organisations warn people against using these home kits without also getting counselling to help them work through the results — regardless of the outcome.

The forgotten form of TB that can carry on forever

Just like with COVID, there’s a long version of TB, called post-TB lung disease. This condition can emerge even after people with TB have finished their courses of treatment.
||

Why SA supermarkets should slash the price of these 10 foods by a fifth

The food industry will get a tax break to ease the effects of loadshedding on the cost of groceries. But there’s more that the industry can do to keep a basic basket of foods affordable, writes the head of the DG Murray Trust, David Harrison.

Poisoned production: The lead industry is booming – it’s just moved to poorer countries

The lead industry is funding researchers and United Nations bodies to paint its toxic products in a favourable light, says this expert, despite the evidence that lead exposure harms children’s development.

4 ways to make it easy to take the HIV prevention pill

The Aurum Institute is making it easier for people to access HIV prevention medication.Their project includes a screening tool and support groups, and has already reached over 100 000 people.

3 ways COVID sped up SA’s medicine approvals process — and how it can...

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) was forced to speed up its review of new medicines such as vaccines, while still ensuring that they were safe and effective.