Home Opinion

Opinion

Opinion pieces by Bhekisisa Contributors

The beauty politic: South Africa’s long and complicated history with skin lighteners

Today, South Africa remains the only country in the world to prohibit all cosmetic claims to skin bleaching, lightening or whitening — and we have a blend of Black Consciousness and science to thank for it. But regulation hasn’t totally snuffed out demand for dangerous creams containing toxic chemicals.

Unbanning booze sales: Did we do it the right way?

You can now have a beer at a pub each day of the week. There are no limits to how much...

The preventable trauma of COVID childbirth

A new global investigation has documented, in at least 45 countries, “shocking” and “unnecessary” breaches of laws and World Health Organisation...

COVID-19 has changed the way South Africa’s only toll-free mental health helpline works. Here’s...

When COVID-19 hit, South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) helplines were flooded with calls. But the outbreak changed more than call volumes, it changed the way SADAG worked. Could the lessons it learned shape the future of mental healthcare in South Africa?

Scientists are working to fast-forward COVID-19 research, but not at the expense of ethics

Two-dozen experimental COVID-19 vaccines are now in human clinical trials, according to the World Health Organisation. It usually takes more than a decade to develop a new vaccine — but just because we’re expediting research to curb the new coronavirus doesn’t mean we can leave communities behind.

‘Academic boys’ to ‘sex jaros’: What it means to be a Black boy in...

Toxic masculinities help drive everything from HIV infection rates to gender-based violence. But before we ask, what does it mean to be a ‘man’ in South Africa, should we wonder what it’s like to be a boy?

COVID-19 is killing private medical practices. Here’s how to save them

As cases of COVID-19 mount, people are steering clear of clinics and doctors are forced to postpone surgeries to free up beds. If something isn’t done now, there’s slim chance private doctors will have the ability to volunteer for the national response because their jobs — and those of their staff – won’t survive the pandemic.

How wearing a mask can slash COVID-19 deaths

The more people wear masks, the safer everyone will be, shows this modelling study.
The LAM urine test allows doctors to diagnose a seriously ill HIV patient with tuberculosis in just 25 minutes. No special laboratories or technicians are required to administer the test

In epidemics, our health facilities can become hotspots. Here’s what to do about it.

Two epidemics, two diseases, 200 kilometres and almost 20 years apart. Find out what they have in common.
Thermal screening

The dubious value of fever screening: Why measuring for surface temperature won’t help curb...

Apart from being unreliable, fever screening can create a false sense of security and pose an infection risk to thermometer operators.

Old lessons, new pandemic: ‘We showed up to do COVID-19 testing & communities told...

What happens to HIV prevention programmes during the coronavirus pandemic? Take a look at how South African projects went from performing...

Folly and fortitude: What sets good and bad leaders apart in the COVID-19 era?

A country's coronavirus response is only as good as its president, writes Lawrence Hamilton. So how does South Africa's head of...

What will the future of COVID-19 testing look like?

Our COVID-19 response can take a leaf out of our HIV strategy book. For a start, to focus on testing people...

Could the debate over South Africa’s temporary alcohol sales ban have a subtext you’re...

No, South Africa's alcohol ban wasn't the only thing that helped lower hospital trauma admissions recently, but it did play a...
Doctor

Are we prepared for the potential pandemic lawsuits against South Africa’s health system?

Society’s goodwill towards the health profession is justified, but in the face of doctors and hospitals having to make difficult decisions when...

Catholic priest: Why it’s wrong to open our churches

Is it responsible to allow religious gatherings during level 3 lockdown? This church leader says no — there are safer ways to provide people with spiritual support during the COVID-19 epidemic.