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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.

Eight things Motsoaledi and Phaahla have in common

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi faces a massive challenge: rolling out a controversial NHI Act by a government of which only four out of 11 governing parties support the legislation. Does he have the skills? Mia Malan reports.

What the NHI won’t fix

Thirty years into democracy, South Africa still struggles with rolling out mostly well-designed policies. But if the circumstances in which a health system has to work aren’t fixed, simply passing a law to give everyone access to healthcare won’t change things for the better. Here’s why.

Should your party save you from floods? Voters think so

: Last week, the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal was mopping up damage after being battered by heavy, unexpected rainfall over the weekend — almost 50 times more in 24 hours than what the usual daily average is here. How seriously should your political party take such issues? Here’s what voters think.

Will the food industry sacrifice its fat profits for health?

South Africa’s growing obesity epidemic won’t be reversed by preaching healthier eating habits and exercise alone; there’s a growing realisation that the food industry needs to change, write David Harrison and Liezel Engelbrecht.

‘I’m a smoker — and I want stricter tobacco control’

Civil rights activist Koketso Moeti has been smoking for over 20 years. Yet she supports South Africa’s new Tobacco Bill, which bans indoor smoking, including vaping, in public buildings. Here’s why.

Why is TB called the ‘disease of paper’ in Eastern Cape villages?

The words we use to describe diseases tell us more about how people experience living with it. The isiXhosa word for tuberculosis, isifo sephepha, is a case in point. Understanding where it comes from can help to break down the stigma around the disease.

Does SA’s biggest killer show up in your party’s manifesto?

A curable and preventable disease is South Africa’s biggest killer. Is your political party going to do something about it — and does it show up in their election manifesto?

Stigma, inaction and cost: Will SA treat obesity with lessons learned from HIV?

About two-thirds of women and almost a third of men in South Africa are overweight or have obesity. It’s a new public health threat, which, if not acted on now, will have serious consequences for the wellbeing of the country. But rather than making it a game of blame and shame, there are two things that can be done right now.

Eating to survive: How to know if your party is taking hunger seriously

David Harrison breaks down five ways in which hunger among children can be decreased and explains why it’s important to hold the party you plan to vote for accountable to do something about food insecurity.

A plastic sheet can save 70 000 lives a year — here’s how

Every year, about 14-million women lose so much blood during childbirth that they could die; about 70 000 do. The condition is called postpartum haemorrhage — but it can be prevented if nurses and midwives know what to look for and can act in time. Health workers from a hospital in Kenya write about how a new treatment approach has saved lives in their labour ward.

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.