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Opinion

Opinion pieces by Bhekisisa Contributors

A nurse treats a young patient's buruli ulcer with a clay poultice.

Buruli ulcer: Africa’s neglected but third most common mycobacterial disease

The buruli ulcer is considered to be a neglected tropical disease but is the third most common bacterial infection after tuberculosis and leprosy.
Skin cancer places a burden on the South African healthcare system.

The cost of skin cancer: South Africa is spending more than it should

Sunny weather in South Africa makes skin cancer a risk for many people.
There is no vaccine for hand

Explainer: Why children are at risk of hand, foot and mouth disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a viral infection that can affect infants and young children.
Africa needs more emergency care specialists to prevent unnecessary deaths due to a lack of capacity and training.

Why emergency care in Africa needs to become a specialised course

Countries in Africa are in desperate need of more emergency care specialists and increased training.
An obese couple sits on the beach. Overweight and obesity have been recognised as crucial health issues and have been included in the sustainable development goals.

Obesity weighs heavily on Africa’s meagre resources

Big Food is just one driving force behind unhealthy eating, and strategies are needed to cut the high cost of associated diseases.
Volunteers arrive to pick up bodies of people who died of Ebola in the 2014-2015 outbreak.

Ebola and Zika epidemics are driven by pathologies of society, not just a virus

Economic exploitation in the developing world has resulted in under-resourced and weak health systems that could not contain the spread of viruses.
The United Nations will bring together 192 countries for the fourth high-level meeting on tuberculosis in 2018.

#Unmask TB stigma with a selfie

Fearing social rejection, many patients don't seek treatment. To show your solidarity, don a surgical mask and post a selfie on World TB Day.
A man grabs a girl to bring her back to her family home after she tried to escape when she realised she is to be married against her will

How schooling can save African girls from becoming child brides

Although important victories have been won in the fight to protect girls from becoming child brides, the practice remains common and is growing.
Junior doctors lives stand still as they wait to be paid after the human resource staff failed to capture their details to the payroll system on time.

Doctors must be taught how to be better counsellors on lifestyle choices

People who smoke and drink too much, don’t exercise and eat unhealthily are likely to suffer from non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease.
Many cultures have used cannabis as a medicine

It’s high time we make cannabis available for medical research

Medical regulatory bodies must be guided by solid evidence rather than pressure from recreational users pushing for the legalisation of the drug.
Nine-year-old Tumelo shows antiretrovirals.

Free ARVs are not enough: The hidden costs of treating HIV in Nigeria

Financial risk-protection mechanisms could alleviate the high food and transport costs incurred by rural people seeking to access treatment for HIV.
Boys prepare fishing boats for night fishing in Lake Tanganyika at sunset.

Fishing and family planning – how the two are linked

Sometimes, delivering mixed messages is a good thing, as an integrated project in the Lake Tanganyika region has proved.
Mbeki was ousted as president in 2008

Snub Mbeki like he did Nkosi

About 35 000 babies could have been born without HIV had the president listened to the boy.
Kenya

Why Africa needs PrEP: A two-in-one pill to prevent HIV infection

Truvada, which contains two antiretrovirals, reduces the risk of HIV infection with up to 96%.
Drumming therapy can help to reduce anger and tension and increase a sense of wellbeing.

African rhythms heal around the globe

Nicola Plastow looks at some of the settings in which African drumming has been used to improve mental health.
Most medical aids won't cover a new

Better maternity leave laws are needed to protect African mothers

Maternity leave for women in developing countries is still a massive problem, with many women in informal sectors not receiving adequate cover.