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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.

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.

SA & India took a stand for COVID-19 patients everywhere. Here’s why African leaders...

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Developing nations have the capacity to scale up their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic but they're continually hamstrung by barriers set up by Big Pharma.

Rape increases your long-term risk of contracting HIV. Here’s what could fix that

Trauma care for rape survivors in South Africa has been crucially underfunded — and now there’s evidence of the HIV-related consequences.

Madness in the method: Why government’s GBV ‘hot spots’ are really ‘not spots’

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The police recently announced 30 gender-based violence hot spots to which additional resources will be directed to address violence against women. But the methods they used to identify these areas are flawed —and the hot spots might be elsewhere.
[WATCH] Busted: Three myths about drug addiction

A safe retreat from the war on drugs

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The threat of punishment and discrimination doesn’t drive people to quit or avoid drugs, but rather to hide their use, including from their doctors. There is a better way, and jurisdictions like the US state of Oregon may have found it.
A new online tool lets you calculate your chances of falling pregnant via IVF.

Women can wait up to two months to find out if their babies have...

The world has more than halved the number of babies who contract HIV from their mothers in the last two decades. But in some places, rates of mother-to-child transmission of HIV are rising again and we don’t have a moment to lose when it comes to diagnosing — and treating — babies born with the virus.

From symbols of illness to signs of solidarity: The other disease masks could curb

We now have the chance to use our new mask-prowess to curb the spread of TB as well — but only if we consider keeping masks woven into the fabric of our lives after the COVID pandemic has passed.
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...

What developing countries can teach the Global North about how to respond to a...

When it comes to leadership and innovation, there's much that industrialised nations can learn. Nine months into the pandemic, Europe remains one of...

‘How COVID has affected my mental health as a doctor’

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During epidemics doctors face moral dilemmas forcing them to make decisions against their conscience — such as having to follow treatment guidelines designed...

Why many South African mothers give up breastfeeding their babies so soon

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The long-term benefits of breastfeeding for children’s development led to recommendations for its exclusive adoption for the first six months of infants’ lives. But...

COVID-19 has increased hunger in SA. So what works best to improve access to...

South Africa’s expansion of social grants during lockdown was a good move — new evidence shows such cash transfers are effective in reducing food insecurity. But the country may need more of these and may also have to increase their amounts.
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.

Pills and phone calls: How COVID restrictions forced us to conduct abortions telephonically

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COVID-19 forced many people’s jobs online – even for doctors who provide abortions. Read what Marie Stopes learned when they helped nearly 50 patients terminate pregnancies over the phone.

Why COVID-19 vaccines need to prioritise ‘superspreaders’

Controlling the spread of COVID-19 among the young may be a better way to protect the old, these experts argue COMMENT Once safe and effective COVID-19...

This agreement could be South Africa’s answer for an affordable COVID-19 vaccine. But there’s...

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When COVID-19 vaccines come onto the market, poorer countries will have to compete with wealthier ones, who can pay more, for access. Will it help if lower and middle-income countries pool their funds and order vaccines in bulk?