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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.

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.

‘We only write about them when they are dead’: Hate killings of black lesbians...

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Nearly three decades after South Africa’s first Gay and Lesbian pride march, journalist and researcher Nechama Brodie takes a look at the violent history the country’s black lesbians have endured.
Coronavirus screening

Four reasons to be hopeful about South Africa’s coronavirus testing plan

In a grim news cycle, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s announcement yesterday that the country is evaluating rapid tests for the new coronavirus is something...
Most South Africans have the TB germ - so why aren't they sick?

Has our COVID fight crippled our efforts to fight HIV and TB?

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During the HIV pandemic, doctors were traumatised by the government’s indifference towards patients’ lack of access to treatment. In the case of COVID-19, some physicians say, they have to cope with the devastating consequences of most of the country’s health resources having been allocated to one disease.

From COVID vaccine hoarders to donors: Why rich countries shouldn’t just pawn off expiring...

Rich countries have an excess supply of COVID-19 vaccines. Now they’re either dumping or donating these close to expiring doses. But it takes a lot more to address the issues of vaccine inequity and the supply shortfall in poorer countries.

What if you could report gender-based violence at… your local supermarket?

In the time of COVID-19, social distancing measures can make it harder to report and screen for gender-based violence (SGBV). In South Africa, we've...

Who should get the COVID-19 vaccine first in South Africa?

Now that the world has its first effective COVID jabs, the next challenge we have to tackle is who gets them? Here’s why the public could be key to answering this complex question in South Africa.

A sarmie, a sweet and a cigarette? How to make sure Africa doesn’t become...

Smoking in the west is declining. So the tobacco industry is looking to untapped markets in lower-income countries to hook new smokers.

Curious about what the National Health Insurance will cover? Then you’ll want to read...

What will the National Health Insurance pay for? It’s the question on everyone’s mind when it comes to the move set to redefine how healthcare is financed and managed in South Africa. We give you a behind-the-scenes look at the development of a framework that will help guide policies in this edited extract from the Health Systems Trust's latest Health Review.

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

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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?

How well is Pfizer’s COVID jab working in SA? We break down some of...

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A local analysis found promising protective effects of the Pfizer COVID vaccine — even among those who had only received one dose. The data from Discovery Health illustrates how vaccination can lower your risk of infection. But even with this promise, the variants circulating in South Africa means we shouldn’t abandon existing safety measures.

Can you be convicted of attempted murder if you expose someone to the new...

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The virus at the centre of South Africa’s coronavirus outbreak may be new, but the idea that criminalising a disease can stop its spread...
Protests by communities

Protests, progress and performance: Here’s what it takes to clean up a provincial health...

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In 2018, protests over alleged corruption in the North West health department literally set the province on fire. Cabinet eventually put six of the...

A confusing COVID caseload: Why Africa’s missing numbers show a different side to the...

African countries are still struggling for COVID-19 vaccines. One reason for this is the misconception that the continent wasn’t hard-hit by the pandemic. But the numbers tell a different story.

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

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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.

Vaccine misinformation: What to do when it’s coming from leaders

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Refuting lies about vaccines peddled by those in leadership positions may be less about trying to change their minds and more about protecting those who might be listening.