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When all else fails: Why people opt for backstreet abortions

Abortion is legal in South Africa. But bad treatment, stigma, a lack of privacy and long waiting periods for abortions at government clinics can drive people to illegal providers. A reproductive health researcher and an abortion doctor explain backroom abortions and what can be done to make it easier to go the safe route instead.

Mapping a virus: Tracking the spread of South Africa’s COVID-19 outbreak

In March 2020, South Africa confirmed its first case of COVID-19. Seven months later the country had just over 650 000 people who had tested positive for the new coronavirus. Here’s what our local epidemic has looked like over time.

Back to school — again. Can parents decide to keep their children out of...

Learning continues under lockdown level 3 as the South African school year resumes, again. These department of basic education directives tell you what to expect for the rest of the school year.
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Your guide to side-effects: What you can expect after a COVID jab

Vaccines are our most powerful tool to fight the COVID pandemic. Soon, South Africa will start with its mass roll-out. We take a look at what to expect when you get vaccinated.

Asked and answered: Six things you need to know about the new COVID variant...

In December 2020, scientists announced that a new variant of the coronavirus had been identified in South Africa. Here's a look at what we've learnt in the past month about the new variant that is driving the country's second wave of infections.

What does COVID-19 mean for people with HIV and TB? Check out the data

Plus, why new, simpler TB prevention medication couldn't come at a better time for South Africa. Check out these resources from our latest webinar.

Q&A: Six things you’d want to know about COVID jabs

South Africa is on the verge of rolling out COVID vaccines widely, but can we vaccinate children and pregnant women, and which jabs work against the 501Y.V2 variants identified in South Africa? We asked the epidemiologist and former ministerial advisory committee chairperson, Salim Adbool Karim.
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Welcome to the wonderful world of vaccination. Here’s why young people should get the...

Are you confused about COVID vaccines? A lot of young people are on the fence about whether they should get their jab or not. To put your mind at ease, we had an infectious diseases expert break it down.
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Why science & research can be hard to swallow: The giant hamburger of trust

The scientific process is like a hamburger. By examining the quality of each ingredient, you can see how good the end product is. You wouldn’t want mouldy bread or wilted lettuce ruining a perfectly good meal — and similarly you don’t want bad science ruining what could otherwise be a perfectly good vaccine. We look at whether Sputnik V could make it onto the menu.
South Africa has the eighth highest rate of suicide in the world

‘Your life is altered, but it’s not the end’: Life with HIV, stigma and...

The dark days of the HIV pandemic are over, but patients still face social stigma. And emotional distress that can push them to stop treatment or even into a deep depression. Hear it first-hand from people who’ve lived it.

COVID lessons for South Africa’s National Health Insurance

What implementation lessons can we transfer from the country’s COVID vaccine roll-out to universal access to healthcare? We ask our panel of experts.

What does moral injury feel like? A guide for health workers

South African health workers have to make difficult treatment decisions every day, but epidemics make it worse. Go inside the moral distress of working on the  COVID-19 and HIV frontlines with two doctors who saw it first-hand. 

Bhekisisa wrapped: Our greatest hits from 2021

As the second year of coronavirus pandemic reporting draws to a close, the Bhekisisa team takes a look back at their favourite stories of the past twelve months.
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What’s unique about the body’s response to the 501Y.V2 variant? Find out

New research shows that protection against the 501Y.V2 variant could also extend to other variants — including the original virus circulating the country and the variant first identified in Brazil. Understanding the immune response to the new form of the virus in South Africa can help shape how vaccines are designed for more long-lasting and wider protection.

SA’s lockdown liquor ban: All the spats and stats

Take a look back at all our reporting on the alcohol ban, whether it helped, and why it was necessary.

Overseas trips & a midnight curfew: This is life in lockdown level 1

You can hang out with your friends for two hours longer but night clubs are still off limits. Here’s what else is new.